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E A S T L Y N N B 



^MtrdraMma 



Mrs. Henry Wood 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

RIVERSIDE 



EAST LYNNE. 



I^' 



EAST LYNNE 



(i>ooT^, eas^CppjQ^^ 



'' MRS. HENRY WOOD/' 

A i; Til Ok OF 
"tuf. ciiann'ings," " Kor.wn yorkk," "johxny i.udi.ow," etc 



fBaU^n^filillfon. 



K. n b n 
MACMILLAN A X 1> CO., Limited 

NF.W YdKK : THE MACMII.LAN COMI'ANV 
1899 






LONDON : 
PRINTED BY V/rU.IAAr CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, 

STAMKORD STREKT ANI) CHARING CROSS. 



CONTENTS. 



PART THE FIRST. 

CHAFTER PACK 

I. The Lady Isabel ... ... ... ... i 

II. The Broken Cross ... ... ... ... 7 

III. Barbaka Hare ... ... ... ... ... 12 

IV. The Moonlight Interview ... ... ... 21 

V. Mr. Carlyle's Office ... ... ... ... 25 

VI. Richard Hare, the Youn(;er ... ... 33 

VH. Miss Carlyle at Home ... ... ... ... 43 

VIII. Mr. Kane's Concert ... ... ... ... 48 

IX. The B.vts at the Window ... ... ... 54 

X. The Keepers of the Dead ... ... ... 64 

XI. The New Peer, and the Bank-note ... ... 73 

XII. Life at Castle Marling ... ... .. 82 

XIII. Mr. Dill's .Shaking ... ... ... ... 90 

XIV. The Earl's Astonishment ... ... ... 100 

XV. Coming Ho.me ... ... ... ... ... 104 

XVI. Barbara Hare's Revelation ... ... ... 113 

XVII. Death or Life ... ... ... ... ... 124 

"XVni. Wilson's Gossip ... .. ... ... 130 

XIX. Captain Thorn at Wi:sr Lynne ... ... .. 136 



PART THE SECOND. 

I. Going from Home ... ... ... ... 146 

II. Francis Levison ... ... ... ... 151 

III. Quitting the Danger ... ... ... ... 159 

IV. The Fractured Ankle ... ... ... 164 

V. Mrs. Hare's Dream ... ... ... ... 171 

VI. Captain Thorn in Trouble ... ... ... 182 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER PACK 

VII, The Secret Scrap of Taper ... ... ... i88 

VIII. Richard Hare at Mr. Dill's Window ... 195 

IX. Never to be Redeemed ... ... ... ... 203 

X. Charming Results ... ... ... ... 212 

XI, Mutual Compliments ... ... ... ... 217 

XII. Alone for Evermore ... ... ... 225 

XIII. Barbara's Misdoings ... ... ... ... 233 

XIV. An Accident ... ... ... ... 240 

XV. An Unexpected Visitor at East Lynne... ... 245 

XVI. A Night Invasion of East Lynne ... ... 254 

XVII. Barbara's Heart at Rest ... ... ... 266 

XVIII. Frozen to Death in the Snow ... ... 276 

XIX. Mr. Dill in an Embroidered Shirt-front ... 284 



PART THE THIRD. 

I. Stalkenberg ... ... ... ... ... 2S9 

II. Change and Change... ... ... ... 300 

III. The Yearning of a Breaking Heart ... ... 311 

IV. "Then you'll remember me" ... ... 320 

V. An M.P. for West Lynne ... ... ... 326 

VI. Sir Francis Levison at Home ... ... 336 

VII. A Mishap to the Blue Spectacles ... ... 343 

VIII. A Treat in a Green Pond ... ... ... 349 

IX. Appearance of a Russian Bear at West Lynne 357 

X. A Fading Child ... ... ... .. ... 365 

XI. Mr. Carlyle invited to some Pat^ de Foie Grab 374 

XII. An Application to the Bench ... ... 383 

XIII. The World turned Upside Down ... ... 3S7 

XIV. Miss Carlyle in Full Dress. Afy also ... 394 
XV. Mr. Jiffin ... ... ... ... ... 399 

XVI. The Justice-room ... ... ... ... 404 

XVH. Fire! ... ... ... ... ... ... 415 

XVIII. Three Months Longer ... ... ... 421 

XIX. The Trial ... .. ... ... ... 426 

XX. The Death Chamber ... ... ... 434 

XXI. Lord Vane dating forward ... ... ... 444 

XXII. It won't do, Afy ... ... ... ... 453 

XXIH. Until Eternity ... ... ... ... ... 45^ 

XXIV. I. M. V. ... ... ... 4(^0 



"Truly the heart is deceitful, and out of its depths of corruption 
Kise, like an exhalation, the misty phantoms of passion ; 
Angels of light they seem, but are only delusions of Satan. 

This is the cross I must bear ; the sin and the swift retribution." 

Longfellow. 



EAST LYNNE. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE LADY ISABEL, 



In an easy chair of the spacious and handsome library of his town- 
house sat WilHam, Earl of Mount Severn. His hair was grey, the 
smoothness of his expansive brow was defaced by premature wrinkles, 
and his once attractive face bore the pale, unmistakable look of dissi- 
pation. One of his feet was cased in folds of linen, as it rested on a 
soft velvet ottoman, speaking of gout as plainly as any foot ever spoke 
yet. It would seem — to look at the man as he sat there — that he had 
grown old before his time. And so he had. His years were barely 
nine-and-forty ; yet in all, save years, he was an aged man. 

A noted character had been the Earl of Mount Severn. Not that 
he had been a renowned politician, or a great general, or an eminent 
statesman, or even an active member of the Upper House : not for 
any of these had the carl's name been in the mouths of men. But for 
the most reckless among the reckless, for the spendthrift among spend- 
thrifts, for the gamester above all gamesters, and for a gay man out- 
Stripping the gay ; by these characteristics did the world know Lord 
Mount Severn. It was said his faults were those of the head ; that a 
better heart or more generous spirit never beat in huiuan form ; and 
there was much truth in this. It had been well for him had he lived 
and died plain William Vane. Up to his five-and-twentieth year he 
had been industrious and steady, had kept his terms in the Temple, 
and studied late and early. The sober application of William \'ane 
had been a byword with the embryo barristers around ; Judge Vane, 
they ironically called him, and they strove ineffectually to allure him 
away to idleness and pleasure. But young Vane was ambitious, and 
he knew that on his own talents and exertions must depend his rising 
in the world. He was poor, of excellent family, but counting a relative 
in the old Earl of Mount Severn. The possibility of his succeeding 
to the earldom never occurred to him, for three healthy lives, two of 
them young, stood between him and the title. Yet those lives died off; 
one of apoplexy, one of fever in Africa, the third boating at Oxford ; 
and the young Temple student, William \'ane, suddenly found himself 
Earl of Mount Severn, and the lawful possessor of sixty thousand a 
year. 

His first idea was, that he should never know how to spend his 
money : that such a sum, year by year, could not be spent. It was a 

Sast Lynn*. 1 



2 EAST LYNNE. 

wonder his head was not turned by adulation at the outset ; he was 
courted, flattered, and caressed by all classes. He became the most 
attractive man of his day ; for, independently of his newly-acquired 
wealth and title, he was of distinguished appearance and fascinating 
manners. Unfortunately, the prudence which had sustained William 
Vane, the poor law student, in his solitary Temple chambers, utterly 
forsook William Vane, the young Earl of Mount Severn, and he com- 
menced his career at a speed so great, that all staid people said he 
was going to ruin and the deuce headlong. 

But a peer of the realm, and one whose rent-roll is sixty thousand 
per annum, does not go to mm in a day. There sat the earl in his 
library now, in his nine-and-fortieth year, and ruin had not come yet— 
that is, it had not overwhelmed him. But the embarrassments which 
had clung to him and been the destruction of his tranquillity, the bane 
of his existence, who shall describe them ? The public knew them 
pretty well, his private friends better, his creditors best ; but none, 
except himself, knew, or could ever know, the torment that was his 
portion ; well-nigh driving him to distraction. Years ago, by dint of 
looking things steadily in the face, and by economizing, he might have 
retrieved his position ; but he had done what most people will do in 
such cases— put off the evil day si'/ie d/e, and gone on increasing his 
enormous list of debts. The hour of exposure and ruin was now fast 
advancing. 

Perhaps the earl himself was thinking so, as he sat there before an 
ominous mass of papers which strewed the library table. His thoughts 
were back in the past. That was a foolish marriage of his, that 
(iretna Green match for love, foolish so far as prudence went ; but 
the countess had been an affectionate wife to him, had borne with his 
follies and his neglect, and had been an admirable mother to their only 
child. One child alone had been theirs, and in her thirteenth year 
the countess had died. If they had only been blessed with a son — the 
earl groaned over the long-continued disappointment still — he miglit 
then have seen a way out of his difficulties. The boy, as soon as he 
was of age, would have joined with him in cutting off the entail, and 

"My lord," said a servant, entering the room and interrupting the 
carl's castles in the air, " a gentleman is asking to see you." 

"Who is it.^" cried the earl, sharply, not perceiving the card the 
man was bringing. No unknown person, although wearing the externa 
of a foreign ambassador, was ever admitted unceremoniously to thu 
presence of Lord Mount Severn. Years of duns had taught his 
servants caution. 

" His card is here, my lord. It is Mr. Carlyle, of West Lynne." 

" Mr. Carlyle, of West Lynne," groaned the earl, whose foot just 
then gave an awful twinge ; " what does he want ? Show him up." 

The servant did as he was bid, and introduced Mr. Carlyle. He 
was a very tall man of scven-and-twcnty, of remarkably noble presence. 
He was somewhat given to stooping his head when he spoke to any 
one shorter than himself; it was a peculiar habit, almost to be called 
a bowing habit, and his father had possessed it before liim ; when told 
of it, he would laugh, and say he was unconscious of doing it. His 
featuics were good, his complexion was pale and clear, his hair dark, 



THE LADY ISABEL, 3 

and his full eyelids drooped over his deep grey eyes. Altogether it 
was a countenance that both men and women liked to look upon, the 
index of an honourable, sincere nature ; not that it would have been 
called a handsome face so much as a pleasing and distinguished one. 
Though only the son of a country lawyer, and destined to be a lawyer 
himself, he had received the training of a gentleman, had been educated 
at Rugby, and taken his degree at Oxford. He advanced at once to 
the earl in the straightforward way of a man who has come on business. 

" Mr. Carlyle," said the latter, holding out his hand — he was always 
deemed the most affable peer of the age — " I am happy to see you. 
You perceive I cannot rise ; at least without great pain and incon- 
venience : my enemy, the gout, has possession of me again. Take a 
seat. Are you staying in town ? " 

" I have just arrived from West Lynne. The chief object of my 
journey was to see your lordship." 

" What can I do for you ? " asked the earl, uneasily, for a suspicion 
now crossed his mind that Mr. Carlyle might be acting for some one of 
his many troublesome creditors. 

Mr. Carlyle drew his chair nearer to the earl and spoke in a low tone, 

"A rumour has reached my ears, my lord, that East Lynne is in the 
market," 

" A moment, sir," exclaimed the earl, reserve, not to say hauteur, in 
his tone, for his suspicions were gaining ground : "are we to converse 
confidentially together, as men of honour, or is there something con- 
cealed behind your question ? " 

" I do not understand you," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" In a word — excuse my speaking plainly, but I must feel my ground 
— arc you here on the part of some of my rascally creditors, to pump 
information out of me that otherwise they would not obtain ? " 

" My lord," said the visitor, " I know that a lawyer gains cre-dit for 
possessing lax notions on the score of honour, but you can scarcely 
suspect that I should be guilty of underhand work towards you. I ne\er 
was guilty of a mean trick in my life, to my recollection, and I do not 
think I ever shall be." 

" Pardon me, Mr, Carlyle, If you knew half the tricks and mses 
played upon me, you wouki not wonder at my suspecting the whole 
world. Proceed with your business." 

" I heard that East Lynne was privately for sale : your agent dropped 
half a word to me in confidence. If so, I should wish to be the pur- 
chaser." 

" For whom ? " inquired the earl. 

" Myself," 

" You ! " laughed the carl. " Egad ! Iaw)'cring can't be such bad 
work, Carlyle." 

" Nor is it," rejoined Mr. Carlyle, "with an extensive first-class con- 
nexion, such as ours. But you must remember that a good fortune 
was left me by my uncle, and a large one by my fuher." 

" I know. The proceeds of lawyering also." 

" Not altogether. My mother brought a fortune on her marriage, 
and it enabled my father to speculate successfully, I have been looking 
out for an eligible property to invest some money upon, and East Lynne 



4 EAST LYNNE. 

will suit me well, provided I can have the refusal of it, and we agree 
about terms." 

Lord I^Iount Severn mused for a few moments before he spoke. 
" Mr. Carlyle," he began, " my affairs are in a very bad state, and 
ready money I must find somewhere. Now, East Lynne is not entailed ; 
neither is it mortgaged to anything like its value, though the latter fact, 
as you may imagine, is not patent to the world. When I bought it a 
bargain, eighteen years ago, you were the lawyer on the other side, I 
remember." 

" My father," smiled Mr. Carlyle. " I was a child at the time." 
" Of course : I ought to have said your father. By selling East 
Lynne, a few thousands will come into my hands, after all claims on it 
are settled ; I have no other means of raising the wind, and that is why 
I have resolved to part with it. But now, understand : if it were 
known abroad that East Lynne is going from me, I should have a 
hornet's nest about my ears : so that it must be disposed of, as you 
have just remarked, privately. Do you comprehend ? " 
" Perfectly," replied ]\Ir. Carlyle. 

" I would as soon you bought it as any one else, if, as you say, we 
can agree about terms." 

" What does your lordship expect for it — at a rough estimate ?" 
" For particulars I must refer you to my men of busmess, Warburton 
and W'are. Not less than seventy thousand pounds." 
" Too much, my lord," cried Mr. Carlyle, decisively. 
" And that's not its value," returned the earl. 

" These forced sales never do fetch their value," answered the plain- 
speaking lawyer. " I had thought, until this hint was given me by 
Beauchamp, that East Lynne was settled on your lordship's daughter." 
" There's nothing settled on her," rejoined the earl, the contraction 
on his brow standing out more plainly. " That comes of your thought- 
less, runaway marriages. I fell in love with General Conway's daugliter, 
and she ran away with me, like a fool : that is, we were fools together 
for our pains. The general objected to me ; and said I must sow my 
wild oats before he would give me Mary : so I took her to Gretna 
( Ireen, and she became Countess of Mount Severn, without a settlement. 
It was an unfortunate affair, taking one thing with another. When her 
elopement was made known to the general, it killed him." 
" Killed him ! " interrupted Mr. Carlyle. 

" It did. He had disease of the heart, and the excitement brought 
on the crisis. My poor wife never was happy from that hour : she 
blamed herself for her father's death ; and I believe it led to her own. 
She was ill for years : the doctors called it consumption ; but it was 
more like a wasting insensibly away, and consumption had never been 
in her family. No luck ever attends runaway marriages : I have noticed 
it since, in many, many instances : something bad is sure to turn up 
from it." 

"There might have been a settlement executed after the marriage," 
oljserved Mr. Carlyle, for the carl had stopped, and seemed lost in 
thought. 

" I know there might : but there was not. My wife had possessed 
no fortune ; I was already deep in my career of extravagance ; and 



THE LADY ISABEL. 5 

neither of us thought of making provision for our future children : or, 
if we thought of it, we did not do it. There is an old saying, Mr. 
Carlyle, that what may be done at any time, is never done at all." 

Mr. Carlyle bowed. 

" So my child is portionless," resumed the earl, with a suppressed 
sigh. " The thought that it may be an embarrassing thing for her, 
were I to die before she is settled in life, crosses my mind when I am 
in a serious mood. That she will marry well there is little doubt, for 
she possesses beauty in a rare degree, and has been reared as an 
English girl should be, not to frivolity and foppery. She was trained 
by her mother, who (except for the mad act which she was persuaded 
into by me) was all goodness and refinement, for the first twelve years 
of her life, and, since then, by an admirable governess. No fear that 
she will be decamping to Gretna Green " 

" She was a very lovely child," observed the lawyer. " I remember 
that." 

" Ay ; you have seen her at East Lynne, in her mother's lifetime. 
Rut, to return to business. If you become the purchaser of the East 
Lynne estate, Mr. Carlyle, it must be under the rose. The money 
that it brings, after paying off the mortgage, I must have, as I tell 
you, for my private use ; and you know I should not be able to touch 
a farthing of it, if the confounded public got an inkling of the transfer. 
In the eyes of the world, the proprietor of East Lynne must still be 
Lord Mount Severn — at least for some little time afterwards. Perhaps 
you will not object to that ? " 

Mr. Carlyle considered before replying : and then the conversation 
was resumed, when it was decided that he should see Warburton and 
Ware the first thing in the morning, and confer with them. It was 
growing late when he rose to leave. 

" Stay and dine with me," said the earl. 

Mr. Carlyle hesitated, and looked down at his dress : plain, gentle- 
manly morning attire, but certainly not dinner costume for a peer's 
table. 

" Oh, that's nothing," said the earl ; " we shall be quite alone, except 
my daughter. Mrs. Vane, of Castle Marling, is staying with us ; she 
came up to present my child at the last Drawing-room, but I think I 
heard something about her dining out to-day. If not, we will have it 
by ourselves here. Oblige me by touching the bell, Mr. Carlyle, and 
set the trouble down to the score of my unfortunate foot." 

The servant entered. 

" Inquire whether Mrs. Vane dines at home," said the earl. 

" Mrs. Vane dines out, my lord," was the man's immediate reply. 
" The carriage is at the door now, waiting to take her." 

"Very well. Mr. Carlyle remains." 

At seven o'clock dinner was announced, and the earl was wheeled 
into the adjoining room. As he and i\Ir. Carlyle entered it at one 
door, some one else came in by the opposite one. Who — what — was 
it ? Mr. Carlyle looked, not quite sure whether it was a human being : 
he .almost thought it more like an angel. 

A light, graceful, girlish form, a face of surpassing beauty, beauty 
that is r:]rcly seen, save from the imagination of a painter, dark shining 



6 EAST LYNNE. 

curls falling on her neck and shoulders smooth as a child's, fair 
delicate arms decorated with pearls, and a flowing dress of costly white 
lace. Altogether the vision did indeed look to the lawyer as one from 
a fairer world than this. 

"My daughter, Mr. Carlyle ; the Lady Isabel." 

They took their seats at the table. Lord Mount Severn at its head, 
in spite of his gout and his footstool, and the young lady and Mr. 
Carlyle opposite each other. Mr. Carlyle had not deemed himself an 
especial admirer of woman's beauty, but the extraordinary loveliness of 
the young girl before him almost took away his senses and his self- 
possession. It was not so much the perfect contour of the exquisite 
features that struck him, or the rich damask of the delicate cheek, or 
the luxuriant falling hair ; no, it was the sweet expression of the soft 
dark eyes. Never in his hfe had he seen eyes so pleasing. He could 
not withhold his gaze from her, and he became conscious, as he grew 
more familiar with her face, that there was in its character a sad, 
sorrowful look. Only at times was it to be noticed, when the features 
were in repose, and it lay chiefly in the very eyes he was admiring. 
Never does this unconsciously mournful expression exist, but it is a 
sure index of sorrow and suffering ; but Mr. Carlyle understood it not. 
And who could connect sorrow with the anticipated brilliant future of 
Isabel Vane ? 

" Isabel," observed the earl, "you are dressed." 

"Yes, papa. Not to keep old Mrs. Levison waiting tea. She likes 
to take it early, and I know Mrs. Vane must have kept her wrdting 
dinner. It was past six when she drove from here." 

" I hope you will not be late to-night, Isabel." 

" It depends upon Mrs. Vane." 

" Then I am sure you will be. When young ladies, in this fashion- 
able world of our:= turn night into day, it is a bad thing for their roses. 
What say you, Mr. Carlyle?" 

Mr. Carlyle glanced at the roses on the cheeks opposite to hun ; 
they looked too "esh and bright to fade lightly. 

At the conclusion c f dinner, a maid entered the room with a white 
cashmere mantle, placing it over the shoulders of her young lady, as 
she said the carriage was waiting. 

Lady Isabel advanced to the earl. " Good-bye, papa." 

" ( Jood-night, my love," he answered, drawing her towards him, and 
kissing her sweet face. "Tell Mrs. Vane I will not have you kept out 
until morning hours; you are only a child yet. Mr. Carlyle, will you 
ring? I am debarred from seeing my daughter to the carriage." 

"If your lordship will allow me — if Lady Isabel will pardon the 
attendance of one little used to wait upon young ladies, I shall be 
proud to see her to her carriage," was the somewhat confused answer 
of Mr. Carlyle, as he touched the bell. 

The earl thanked him, the young lady smiled, and Mr. Carlyle con- 
ducted her down the broad lighted staircase, stood bareheaded by 
the door of the luxurious chariot, and handed her in. She put out her 
hand in her frank, pleasant manner, as she wished him good-night. 
The carriage rolled on its way, and Mr. Carlyle returned to the caii. 

"Well, is she not a handsome girl?" ho demanded. 



THE BROKEN CROSS. 7 

" Handsome is not the word for beauty such as hers," was Mr. 
Carlylc's rc2:)ly, in a low warm tone. " I never saw a face half so 
beautiful." 

" She caused quite a sensation at the Drawing-room last week — as I 
hear. This everlasting gout kept me in-doors all day. And she is as 
good as she is beautiful." 

The earl was not partial. Lady Isabel was wondrously gifted by 
nature, not only in mind and person, but in heart. She was as little 
Idee a fashionable young lady as it was well possible to be, partly 
because she had hitherto been secluded from the great world, partly 
from the care bestowed upon her training. During the lifetime of her 
mother, she had lived occasionally at East Lynne, but chiefly at a 
larger scat of the earl's in Wales, Mount Severn : since her mother's 
death, she had remained entirely at Mount Severn, under the charge of 
a judicious governess, a very small establishment being kept up for 
them, and the carl paying them impromptu and flying visits. Generous 
and benevolent was she ; timid and sensitive to a degree ; gentle and 
considerate to all. Do not cavil at her being thus praised : admire 
and love her whilst you may ; she is worthy of it now, in her innocent 
girlhood ; the time will come when such praise would be misplaced. 
Could the fate, that was to overtake his child, have been foreseen by 
the earl, he would have struck her down to death, in his love, as she 
stood before him, rather than suffer her to enter upon it. 



CHAPTER H. 

THE BROKEN CROSS. 



Lady Isap.ki.'s carriage continued its way, and deposited her at the 
residence of Mrs. Levison. Mrs. Levison was nearly eighty years of 
age, and very severe in speech and manner ; or, as Mrs. Vane expressed 
it, "crabbed." She looked the image of impatience when Isabel 
entered, with her cap pushed awry as she pulled at her black satin 
gown, for Mrs. Vane had kept her waiting dinner, and Isabel was 
keeping her from her tea : and that does not agree with the aged, 
with their health or their temper. 

" I fear I am late," exclaimed Lady Isabel, as she advanced to ]\Irs. 
Levison ; " but a gentleman dined with papa to-day, and it made us 
rather longer at table." 

*' Vou are twenty-five minutes bclnnd your time," cried the old lady, 
sharply, " and I want my tea. Emma, order it in." 

Mrs. Vane rang the bell, and did as she was bid. She was a little 
woman of six-and-twcnty, very plain in face, but elegant in figure, 
vastly accomplished, and vain to her ".ngcrs' ends. Her mother, who 
was dead, had been Mrs. Levison's daughter, and her husband, Raymond 
Vane, was heir presumptive to the earldom of Mount Severn. 

'' Won't you take off that tippet, child ? " asked Mrs. Levison, who 
knew nothing of the new-fashioned names for such articles ; mantle, 
bernous, and the whole string of them. Isabel threw it off, and sat 
down by her. 



8 EAST LYNNE. 

" The tea is not made, grandmamma ! " exclaimed Mrs. Vane, in an 
accent of astonishment, as the servants appeared with the tray and 
the silver urn, " You surely do not have it made in the room ! " 

" Where should I have it made ? " inquired Mrs. Levison. 

" It is much more convenient to have it brought in ready made," 
said Mrs. Vane. " I dislike the einbarras of making it." 

" Indeed ! " was the reply of the old lady ; " and get it slopped over 
in the saucers, and as cold as milk ! You always were lazy, Emma — 
and always given to those French words. I'd rather stick a printed 
label on my forehead, for my part, ' I speak French,' and let the world 
know it that way." 

" Who makes tea for you in general ? " asked Mrs. Vane, telegraphing 
a contemptuous grimace to Isabel behind her grandmother. 

But the eyes of Lady Isabel fell timidly, and a blush rose to her 
cheeks. She did not like to appear to differ from Mrs. Vane, her 
senior, and her father's guest ; but her mind revolted at the bare idea 
of ingratitude or ridicule cast to an aged parent. 

" Harriet comes in and makes it for me," replied Mrs. Levison ; " ay, 
and sits down and takes it with me when I am alone, which is pretty 
often. What do you say to that, Madame Emma ; you, with your fine 
notions ? " 

" Just as you please, of course, grandmamma." 

" And there's the tea caddy at your elbow, and the urn's fizzing away, 
and if we are to have any tea to-night, it had better be made at once." 

" I don't know how much to put in," grumbled Mrs. Vane, who had 
the greatest horror of soiling her hands or her gloves : who, in short, 
had a particular antipathy to doing anything useful. 

"Shall I make it, dear Mrs. Levison?" said Isabel, rising with 
alacrity. " I used to make it at Mount Severn, and I make it for papa." 

" Do, child," replied the old lady. " You are worth ten of her." 

Isabel laughed merrily, drew off her gloves, and sat dov/n to the 
table : and at that moment a young and elegant man lounged into the 
room. He was considered handsome, with his clearly-cut features, 
his dark eyes, his rav^n hair, and his white teeth ; but, to a keen 
observer, those features had not an attractive expression, and the d;irk 
eyes had a habit of looking away while he spoke to you. It was 
Francis, Captain Levison. 

He was grandson to the old lady, and first cousin to Mrs. Vane. 
Few men were so fascinating in manners (at times and seasons), in face, 
and in form ; few men won so completely upon their hearers' cars, and 
few were so heartless in their heart of hearts. The world courted him, 
and society honoured him ; for, though he was a graceless spendthrift, 
and it was known that he was so, he was heir presumptive to the old 
and rich Sir Peter Levison. 

The ancient lady spoke up. ' Captain Levison ; Lady Isabel Vane." 
They both acknowledged the introduction ; and Isabel, a child yet in 
the ways of the world, blushed crimson at the admiring looks cast upon 
her by the young (iuardsman. Strange — strange that she should make 
the acquaintance of those two men in the same day, almost in the same 
hour : the two, of all the human race, who were to exercise so powerful 
an intluencc over her future life 1 



THE BROKl^J CROSS. g 

"That's a pretty cross, child," cried Mrs. Lcvison, as Isabel stood by 
her when tea was over, and she and Mrs. Vane were about to depart 
on their evening visit. 

vShe alluded to a golden cross, set with seven emeralds, which Isabel 
wore round her neck. It was of light, delicate texture, and was sus- 
pended from a thin, short gold chain. 

" Is it not pretty ? " answered Isabel. " It was given me by my dear 
mamma just before she died. Stay, I will take it off for you. I only 
wear it upon great occasions." 

This, her first grand party at a duke's, seemed a very great occasion 
to the simply reared, inexperienced girl. She unclasped the chain, and 
placed it with the cross in the hands of Mrs. Levison. 

" Why, I declare you have nothing on but that cross and some rub- 
bishing pearl bracelets ! " uttered Mrs. Vane to Isabel. " I did not look 
at you before." 

** Mamma gave me both. The bracelets are those she used frequently 
to wear." 

" You old-fashioned child ! Because your mamma wore those brace- 
lets years ago, is that a reason for your doing so now?" retorted Mrs. 
Vane. " Why did you not put on your diamonds ? " 

" I— did — put on my diamonds ; but I — took them off again," stam- 
mered Isabel. 

" What on earth for ? " 

" I did not like to be too fine," answered Isabel, with a laugh and a 
blush. " They glittered so ! I feared it might be thought I had put 
them on to look fine." 

" Ah ! I see you mean to set up amongst that class of people who 
pretend to despise ornaments," scornfully remarked Mrs. Vane. " It is 
the refinement of affectation. Lady Isabel." 

The sneer fell harmlessly on Isabel's ear. She only believed some- 
thing had put Mrs. Vane out of temper. It certainly had : and that 
something, though Isabel little suspected it, was the evident admira- 
tion Captain Levison showed for her fresh young beauty. It quite 
absorbed him, and rendered him neglectful even of Airs. Vane. 

" Here, child, take your cross," said the old lady. " It is very pretty ; 
prettier on your neck than diamonds would be. You don't want 
embellishing : never mind what Emma says." 

Francis Levison took the cross and chain from her hand to pass 
them to Lady Isabel. Whether he was awkward, or whether her 
hands were full, for she held her gloves, her handkerchief, and had 
just taken up her mantle, certain it is that it fell ; and the gentleman, 
in his too quick effort to regain it, managed to set his foot upon it, 
and the cross was broken in two. 

" There ! Now whose fault was that ? " cried Mrs. Levison. 

Isabel did not answer : her heart was very full. She took the broken 
cross, and tears dropped from her eyes : she could not help it. 

" Why ! you are never crying over a stupid bauble of a cross ! " 
uttered Mrs. Vane, interrunting Captain Levison's expressions of regret 
at his awkwardness. 

"You can have it mended, dear," interposed Mrs. Lcvison. 

Lady Isabel chased away the tears, and turned to Captain Lcvison 



lo EAST LYNNE. 

with a cheerful look. '' Pray do not blame yourself," she good-naturedly 
said ; " the fault was as much mine as yours : and, as Mrs. Levison 
says, it can be mended." 

She disengaged the upper part of the cross from the chain as she 
spoke, and clasped the latter round her neck. 

" You will not go with that thin string of gold on, and nothing else ! " 
uttered Mrs. Vane. 

"Why not?" returned Isabel. " If people say am hing, I can tell 
them an accident happened to the cross." 

Mrs. Vane burst into a mocking laugh of ridicule. '' ' If people say 
anything ! ' " she repeated, in a tone according with the laugh. " They 
are not likely to ' say anything,' but they will deem Lord Mount 
Severn's daughter unfortunately short of jewellery." 

Isabel smiled and shook her head. " They saw my diamonds at the 
Drawing-room." 

" If you had done such an awkward thing for me, Francis Levison," 
burst forth the old lady, " my doors should have been closed against you 
for a month. There ! if you are to go, Emma, you had better go : 
dancing off to begin an evening at ten o'clock at night ! In my time we 
used to go at seven : but it's the custom now to turn night into day." 

" When George the Third dined at one o'clock upon boiled mutton 
and turnips," put in the graceless captain, who certainly held his grand- 
mother in no greater reverence than did Mrs. Vane. 

He turned to Isabel as he spoke, to hand her downstairs. Thus she 
was conducted to her carriage the second time that night by a stranger. 
Mrs. Vane went down by herself, as she best could, and her temper 
was not improved by the process. 

" Good-night," said she to the captain. 

" I shall not say good-night. You will I'lnd me there almost as soon 
as you." 

" You told me you were not coming. Some bachelors' party in the 
way." 

" Yes, but I have changed my mind. Farewell for the present, Lady 
Isabel." 

" What an object yon will look, with nothing on your neck but a 
school-girl's chain ! " began Mrs. Vane, returning to the grievance as 
the carriage drove on. 

" Oh, Mrs. Vane, what docs it signify ? I can only think of my 
broken cross. I am sure it must be an evil omen." 

"An evil— what?" 

"An evil omen. Mamma gave me that cross when she was dying. 
She told me to let it be to me as a talisman, always to keep it safely ; 
and when I was in any distress, or in need of counsel, to look at it, 
and strive to recall what her advice would be, and to act accordingly. 
And now it is broken — broken ! " 

A gaslight flashed into the carriage upon the face of Isabel. " I 
declare," uttered Mrs. Vane, "you are crying again! I tell you what, 
Isabel : I am not going to chaperon red eyes to the Duchess of Dart- 
ford's, so if you can't i)ut a stop to this, I shall order the carriage home, 
and go on alone." 

Isabel meekly dried her eyes, sighing deeply as she did so. " I can 



THE BROKEN CROSS. ii 

have the pieces joined, I dare say ; but it will never be the same cross 
to mc again." 

" What have you done with the pieces ?" irascibly asked Mrs. Vane. 

" I folded them in the thin paper Mrs. Levison gave me, and put it 
inside my frock. Here it is," touching the body. " I have no pocket 
on." 

Mrs. Vane gave vent to a groan. She never had been a girl herself ; 
she had been a woman at ten ; and she complimented Isabel ujion 
being little better than an imbecile. " ' Put it inside my frock ! ' " she 
uttered, in a tone of scorn. " And you eighteen years of age ! I faa 
cied you Icfc off ' frocks ' when you left the nursery." 

" I meant to say my dress," corrected Isabel. 

" Meant to say you are a baby idiot ! " was the inward comment of 
Mrs. Vane. 

A few minutes, and Isabel forgot her grievance. The brilliant rooms 
were to her as an enchanting scene of dreamland, for her heart was in 
its springtide freshness, and the satiety of experience had not come. 
t-[ow could she remember even the broken cross, as she bent to the 
homage offered her, and drank in the honeyed words poured forth into 
her ear ? 

" Halloa ! " cried an Oxford student, with a long rent-roll in prospec- 
tive, who was screwing himself against the wall, out of the way of the 
waltzers ; " I thought you had given up coming to these places." 

*' So I had," replied the fast nobleman addressed ; " but I am on the 
look-out, so am forced into them again. I think a ball-room the greatest 
bore in life.'* 

" On the look-out for what ? " 

" For a wife. My governor has stopped supplies ; and has vowed, 
by his beard, not to advance another shilling, or pay a debt, until I 
reform. As a preliminary step towards it, he insists upon a wife, and 
I am trying to choose one, for I am deeper in than you can imagine." 

" Take the new beauty, then." 

" Who is she ? " 

"Lady Isabel Vane." 

" Much obliged for the suggestion," replied the earl. ''But one likes 
a respectable father-in-law. Mount Severn and I are too much in the 
same line, and might clash m the long run." 

" One can't have everything ; the girl's beauty is beyond common. 
I saw that rake, Levison, making up to her. He fancies he can carry 
all before him, where women are concerned." 

" So he does, often," was the quiet reply. 

" I hate the fellow ! He thinks so much of himself, with his curled 
hair and his shining teeth and his white hands. He's as heartless as an 
owl. What was that hushed-up business about Miss Chartcris ?" 

"Who's to know? Levison slipped out of the escapade like an eel, 
and the women protested that he was more sinned against than sinning. 
Three-fourths of the world believed them. Here he comes ! And 
Mount Severn's daughter with him." 

They were approaching at that moment, Francis Levison and Lady 
Isabel. He was expressing his regret at the untoward accident of the 
cross, for the tenth time that night. " I feel that it can never be 



12 EAST LYNNE. 

atoned for," whispered he ; " that the heartfelt homage of my whole 
life would not be sufficient compensation." 

He spoke in a tone of thrilling gentleness, gratifying to the ear, but 
dangerous to the heart. Lady Isabel glanced up, and caught his eyes 
fixed upon her with the deepest tenderness, a language hers had never 
yet encountered. A vivid blush again rose to her cheek, her eyelids 
fell, and her timid words died away in silence. 

"Take care, take care, my young Lady Isabel," murmured the 
Oxonian under his breath as they passed him ; " that man is as false as 
he is high." 

" I think he's a rascal," remarked the earl. 

" I know he is : I know a thing or two about him. He would ruin 
her heart for the renown of the exploit, because she's a beauty, and 
then fling it away broken. He had none to offer in return for the gift." 

" Just as much as my racc-horse has," concluded the earl. " She is 
very beautiful." 



CHAPTER III. 

BARBARA HARE. 



Wkst Lynne was a town of some importance, particularly in its own 
eyes, though being neither a manufacturing town nor a cathedral town, 
nor even the chief town of the county, it was somewhat primitive in its 
manners and customs. It sent two members to parliament, and it 
boasted a good market-place, covered over, and a large room above 
that, which was called the " town-hall," where the justices met and 
transacted their business — for the county magistrates still retained 
there that nearly obsolete name. Passing eastward out of the town, 
you came upon several detached gentlemen's houses, in the neighbour- 
hood of which stood the church of St. Judc, which was more aristo- 
cratic (in the matter of its congregation) than the other churches of 
West Lynne. P'or about a mile these houses were scattered, the 
church being situated at their commencement close to the busy part 
of the place ; and about a mile farther on you came upon the beautiful 
estate which was called East Lynne. As you drove along the road 
you might admire its green, undulating park ; not as you walked, for 
an envious wall, unconscionably high, obstructed your view. Large, 
beautiful trees, affording a shelter, alike for human beings and for the 
deer, on a day of summer's heat, rose in that park, and a great gate 
between two lodges to the right of the road, gave you entrance to it, 
and conducted you to the house. It was not a very large house, com- 
pared with some country scats, but it was built in the villa style, was 
white and remarkably cheerful : altogether a charming place to look 
upon. 

Between the houses mentioned, and East Lynne, the mile of road was 
very solitary, much overshadowed by trees. One house alone stood 
there, and that was about three-quarters of a mile before you came to 
East Lynne, and full a quarter of a mile after you had passed the 
houses. It w.is on the left, a squire ugly red brick house with a 



BARBARA HARE. 13 

v/eathercock above, standing some little distance from the road. A 
flat lawn extended before it, and close to the palings dividing it from 
the road, was a grove of trees, some yards in depth. The lawn 
was separated by a narrow gravel path, to which you gained access 
from the road by an equally narrow iron gate, which took you to the 
rustic portico of the house. You entered upon a large flagged hall with 
a reception room on cither hand, and a wide staircase facing you ; by 
the side of the staircase you passed on to the servants' apartments and 
offices. This place was called the Grove, and was the property and 
residence of Richard Hare, Esquire, commonly called Mr. Justice Hare. 
The room to the left, as you went in, was the general sitting-room, 
the other was very much kept boxed up in lavender and brown hoUand, 
to be opened on state occasions. Justice and Mrs. Hare had three 
children, a son and two daughters. Anne the elder of the girls, had 
married young ; Barbara, the younger, was now nineteen ; and Richard, 
the eldest — But we shall come to him hereafter. 

In this sitting-room- on a chilly evening early in May, a few days 
after that which had witnessed the visit of Mr. Carlyle to the Earl of 
Mount Severn, sat Mrs. Hare, a pale, delicate woman, buried in shawls 
and cushions : her arm-chair was drawn to the hearth, though there 
was no fire in it : but the day had been warm. At the window sat a 
pretty girl, ver)- fair, with blue eyes, light hair, a bright complexion, 
and small aquiline features. She was listlessly turning over the leaves 
of a book 

" Barbara, I am sure it must be tea-time, now." 

" Time seems to move slowly with you, mamma. It is scarcely a 
quarter of an hour since I told you it was only ten minutes past six." 

" 1 am so thirsty," murmured the poor invalid. " Do go and look at 
the clock again, Barbara." 

l>arbara Hare rose with a gesture of impatience, opened the door, 
and glanced at the large clock in the hall. " It wants nine-and-twenty 
minutes to seven, mamma. I wish you would put your watch on of a 
day : fo.ur times have you sent me to look at that clock since dinner." 

" I am so thirsty," repeated Mrs. Hare, with a sort of sob. " If seven 
o'clock would only strike ! I am dying for my tea." 

It may occur to the reader that a lady in her own house, " dying for 
her tea," might surely order it to be brought in, although the usual 
hour had not struck. Not so Mrs. Hare. Since her husband had first 
brought her home to that house, four-and-twenty years ago, she had 
never dared to express a will in it ; scarcely, on her own responsibility, 
to give an order. Justice Hare was stern, imperative, obstinate, and 
self-conceited ; she, timid, gentle, and submissive. She had loved him 
with all her heart, and her life had been one long yielding of her will 
to his : in fact, she had no will ; his, was all in all. Far was she from 
feeling the servitude a yoke : some natures do not do so : and, to do 
Mr. Hare justice, his powerful will, that iimst bear down all before it, 
was in fault ; not his kindness : he never meant to be unkind to his 
wife. Of his three children, Barbara alone had inherited this will, but 
in her it was very much softened. 

"Barbara," began Mrs. Hare again, when she thought another 
quarter of an hour at least must have elapsed. 



14 EAST LYNNE. 

" Well, mamma." 

" Ring, and tell them to be getting it in readiness, So that when seven 
strikes there may be no delay." 

" Goodness, mamma ! you know they always do have it ready. And 
there's no such hurry, for papa may not be home." But she rose, and 
rang the bell with a petulant motion, and when the man answered it, 
told him to have tea in to its time. 

"If you knew, dear, how dry my throat is, how parched my mouth, 
you would have more patience with me." 

Barbara closed her book, kissed her mamma with a repentant air, 
and turned listlessly to the window. She seemed tired, not with 
fatigue, but with ivhat the French express by the word cniuti. " Here 
comes papa," she presently said. 

" Oh, I am so glad ! " cried poor Mrs. Hare. " Perhaps he will not 
mind having tea in at once, if I tell him how much I want it." 

The justice came in. A middle-sized man, with pompous features, 
a pompous walk, and a flaxen wig. In his aquiline nose,-compresseci 
lips, and pointed chin, might be traced a resemblance to his daughter ; 
though he never could have been half so good-looking as was pretty 
Barbara. 

" Richard," said Mrs. Hare from between her shawls, the instant he 
opened the door. 

" Well ? " 

" Would you please let me have tea in now ? Would you very much 
mind taking it a little earlier this evening ? I am feverish again, and 
my tongue is so parched, I hardly know how to speak." 

" Oh, it's near seven : yoii won't have long to wait." 

With this exceedingly gracious answer to an invalid's request, Mr, 
Hare quitted the room again, and banged the door. He had not 
spoken unkindly or roughly, simply with indifference. But, ere Mrs. 
Hare's meek sigh of disappointment was over, the door was re-opened, 
and the flaxen wig was thrust in again. 

" I don't mind if I do have it now. It will be a fine moonlight 
night, and I am going with Pinner as far as Beauchamp's, to smoke a 
pipe. Order it in, Barbara." 

The tea was made, and taken, and the justice departed for Mr. 
Beauchamp's, Squire Pinner calling for him at the gate. Mr. Beauchamp 
was a gentleman who farmed a great deal of land, and was also Lord 
Mount Severn's agent, or steward, for East Lynne. He lived higher 
up the road, some little distance beyond East Lynne. 

" I am so cold, Barbara," shivered Mrs. ILire, as she watched the 
justice down the gra\cl path. " I wonder if your papa would say it 
was foolish of me, if I told them to light a fire ? " 

" Have it lighted, if you like," responded Barbara, ringing the bell. 
" Papa will know nothing about it, one way or the other, for he won't 
be home till after bed-time. Jasper, mamma is cold, and would like a 
fire." 

" Plenty of sticks, Jasper, that it may burn up quickly," said Mrs. 
Hare, in a pleading voice ; as if the sticks were Jasper's, and not hers. 

Mrs. Hare had her fire, drew her chair in front of it, and put her 
feet on the fender, to catch its warmth. Barbara, listless still, went 



BARBARA HARE. 15 

into liie hall, took up a woollen shawl from the stand, threw it over her 
shoulders, and went out. She strolled down the straight, formal path, 
and stood at the iron gate, looking over it into the public road. Not 
very public in that spot, and at that hour, but as lonely as one could 
wish. The nigl\t was calm and pleasant, though somewhat chilly for 
the beginning of May, and the moon was getting high in the sky. 

" When will he come home .'' " she murmured, as she leaned her head 
upon the gate. " Oh, what would life be without him ? How miserable 
these few days have been ! I wonder what took him there ! I wonder 
what is detaining him ! Cornelia said he had only gone for a day." 

The faint echo of footsteps in the distance stole upon her ear, and 
Barbara drew back a little, and hid herself under the shelter of the 
trees, not choosing to be seen by any stray passer-by. But, as they 
neared, a sudden change came over her ; her eyes lighted up, her 
cheeks were dyed with crimson, and her veins tingled with excess of 
rapture — for she knew those footsteps, and loved them, only too well. 

Cautiously peeping over the gate again, she looked down the road. 
A tall form, whose very height and strength bore a grace of which its 
owner was unconscious, was advancing rapidly towards her from the 
direction of West Lynne. Again she shrank away : true love is ever 
timid : and whatever may have been Barbara Hare's other qualities, 
her love at least was true and deep. But, instead of the gate opening, 
with the hrm, quick motion peculiar to the hand which guided it, the 
footsteps seemed to pass onwards, and not to have turned at all towards 
it. Barbara's heart sank, and she stole to the gate again, and looked 
out with a yearning gaze. 

Yes, surely enough, he was striding on, not thinking of her, not 
coming to her ; and she, in the disappointment and impulse of the 
moment, called to him. 

"Archibald!" 

Mr, Carlyle — it was no other— turned on his heel, and approached 
the gate. 

"Is it you, Barbara? Watching for thieves and poachers.'' How 
are you .'' " 

"How are you.'"' she returned, holding the gate open for him to 
enter, as he shook hands, and striving to calm down her agitation. 
" When did you return ? " 

" Only now : by the eight o'clock train, which came in beyond its 
time, having dawdled unpardonably at the stations. They little thought 
they had me in it, as their looks betrayed, when I got out. I ha\e not 
been home yet." 

" No ! What will Cornelia say ? " 

" I went into the office for five minutes. But I have a few words to 
say to Beauchamp, and am going up at once. Thank you, I cannot 
come in now : I intend to do so on my return." 

" Papa has gone up to Mr. Beauchamp's." 

"Mr. Hare! Has he?" 

" He and Squire Pinner," continued Barbara. " They are gone to 
have a smoking bout. And if you wait there with papa, it will be too 
late to come in, for he is sure not to be home before eleven or twelve." 

Mr. Carlyle bent his head in deliberation. " Then I think it is of 



i6 EAST LYNNE. 

little use my continuing," said he, " for my business with Beauchamp 
is private. I must defer it until to-morrow," 

He took the gate out of her hand, closed it, and placed the hand 
within his own arm, to walk with her to the house. It was done in a 
matter-of-fact, realistic sort of a way, with nothing of romance or 
sentiment about it ; but Barbara Hare felt that she was in Eden. 

" And how have you all been, Barbara, these fe\^ days ? " 

" Oh, very well. What made you start off so suddenly ? You 
never said you were going, or came to wish us good-bye." 

" You have just expressed it, Barbara — ' suddenly.' A matter of 
business suddenly arose, and I suddenly went up upon it," 

" Cornelia said you were gone only for a day." 

" Did she ? When in London I find many thmgs to do. Is Mrs. 
Hare better?" 

"Just the same. I think mamma's ailments are fancies, half of 
them : if she would only rouse herself, she would be better. What is 
in that parcel .'' " 

" You are not to inquire. Miss Barbara. It does not concern you. 
It only concerns Mrs. Hare." 

" It is something you have brought for mamma, Archibald ! " 

" Of course. A countryman's visit to London entails presents for 
his friends : at least, it used to do so in the old-fashioned days." 

" When people made their wills before starting, and were a fortnight 
doing the journey in the waggon," laughed Barbara. " Grandpapa 
used to tell us tales of that, when we were children. But is it really 
something for mamma ? " 

" Don't I tell you so ? I have brought something for you also." 

" Oh ! What is it ? " she uttered, her colour rising, and wondering 
whether he was in jest or earnest. 

" There's an impatient girl. ' What is it ? ' Wait a moment, and you 
shall see what it is." 

He put the parcel, or roll, he was carrying upon a garden chair, and 
proceeded to search his pockets. Every pocket was visited, apparently 
in vain. 

" Barbara, 1 think it is gone. I must have lost it somehow." 

Her heart beat as she stood there silently, looking up at hini in the 
moonlight. IVas it lost? //7/a/ had it been? 

But, upon a second search, he came upon something in the pocket 
of his coat-tail. "Here it is, I believe: what brought it in there?" 
He opened a small box, and taking out a long gold cham, threw it 
round her neck. A locket was attached to it. 

Her cheeks' crimson went and came, her heart beat more rapidly. 
She could not speak a word of thanks ; and Mr. Carlyle took up the 
roll, and walked on into the presence of Mrs. Hare. 

Barbara followed in a few minutes. Her mother was standing up, 
watching with pleased expectation the movements of Mr. Carlyle. No 
candles were in the room, but it was bright with firelight. 

" Now, don't you laugh at me," quoth he, undoing the string of the 
parcel. " It is not a roll of velvet for a dress, and it is not a roll of 
parchment, conferring twenty thousand a year upon you. But it is — 
an air-cushion." 



BARBARA HARE. 17 

It was what poor Mrs. Hare, so worn with sitting and lying, had 
often longed for ; she had heard that such a luxury was to be bought 
in London, but never remembered to have seen one. She took it 
almost with a greedy hand, casting a grateful look at Mr. Carlyle. 

"How am I to thank you for it?" she murmured through her 
tears. 

"If you thank me at all, I will never bring you anything again," 
cried he, gaily, pleased to see her so pleased ; for, whatever the justke 
and Barbara may have done, /le felt lively pity for Mrs. Hare, and 
sympathised with her sufferings. " I have heard you wish for the 
comfort of an air-cushion, and happening to see some displayed in a 
window in the Strand, it occurred to me to bring you one." 

" How thin it is ! " exclaimed Mrs. Hare. 

" Thin ! Oh yes, thin at present, because it is not ' fixed,' as our 
friends across the Atlantic say. See : this is the way to fill it with air. 
There ; it is not thin now." 

" It was so truly kind of you to think of me, Archibald." 

" I have been tolling Barbara that a visit to London entails gifts for 
friends," returned Mr. Carlyle. " Do you see how smart I have made 
Barbara?" 

Barbara hastily took off the chain, and laid it before her mother. 

" How beautiful ! " uttered Mrs. Hare, in surprise. "Archibald, you 
arc too good, too generous ! This must have cost a great deal ; this is 
beyond a trille." 

" Nonsense ! " laughed Mr. Carlyle. " I'll tell you both how I came 
to buy it. I went into a jeweller's about my watch, which has taken to 
lose lately in a most imceremonious fashion, and there I saw a whole 
display of chains, hanging up ; some ponderous enough for a sheriff, 
some light and elegant enough for Barbara. I dislike to see a thick 
chain on a lady's neck. They reminded me of the chain she lost the 
day she and Cornelia went with me to Lynncborough ; a loss Barbara 
persisted in declaring was my fault, for dragging her through the town, 
sight-seeing, whilst Cornelia went shopping." 

" But I was only joking when I said so," was Barbara's interruption. 
" Of course it would have happened had you not been with me ; the 
links were always snapping." 

" Well ; these chains in the London shop put me in mind of Barbara's 
misfortune, and I chose one. Then the shopman brought forth some 
lockets, and enlarged upon their suitability for holding deceased 
relatives' hair, not to speak of sweethearts', until I told him he might 
attach one to the chain. I thought it might hold that piece of hair 
you prize, Barbara," he concluded, dropping his voice. 

"What piece.'"' asked Mrs. Hare. 

Mr. Carlyle glanced round the room, as if fearful the very walls 
might hear his whisper. " Richard's. Barljara showed it to me one 
day when she was turning out her desk, and said it was a curl cut off 
in that illness." 

Mrs. Hare sank back in her clhiii, and liid her face in her bauds, 

shivering visibly. The words evidently awoke some source of deep 

sorrow. " Oh, my boy 1 my boy ! " she wailed : " my boy ! my unhappy 

boy ! Mr. Hare wonders at my ill-health, Archibald ; Barbara ridicules 

Kast LTiioe. 3 



i8 EAST LYNNE. 

It : but there lies the source of all mv misery, mental and bodily. Oh, 
Richard: Richard!" 

There was a distressing pause : for the topic admitted of neither 
hope nor consolation. " Put your chain on again, Barbara," Mr. Car- 
lyle said, after a while, " and I wish you health to wear it out. Health 
and reformation, young lady." 

Barbara smiled, and glanced at him with her pretty blue eyes, so full 
of love. '' What have you brought for Cornelia ? " she resumed. 

" Something splendid," he answered, with a mock-serious face ; 
" only, I hope I have not been taken in. I boug/it her a shawl. The 
vendors vowed it was true Parisian cashmere : I hope it won't turn out 
to be common Manchester." 

" If it does, Cornelia will not know the difference." 

" I can't answer for that. But, for my part, I don't see why foreign 
goods should bear the palm over British," observed Mr. Carlylc, becom- 
ing national. '' If I wore shawls, I would discard the best French 
one ever made, for a good honest shawl from our own manufactories ot 
Norwich or Paisley." 

" Wait until you do wear them ; )ou would soon tell a different tale," 
said Barbara, significantly. 

Mrs. Hare took her hands from her pale face. " What was the price 
of the shawl ? " she inquired. 

'' If I tell you, you must promise not to betray it to Cornelia. She 
would rail at me for my extravagance, and lay it up between folds of tissue 
paper, and never bring it out again. I gave eighteen guineas for it." 

" That is a great deal," observed Mrs. Hare. " It ought to be a very 
good one, I never gave more than six guineas for a shawl in my life." 

"And Cornelia, 1 dare say, never more than half six," laughed Mr. 
Carlyle. '' Well, I shall wish you good evening and go to her ; for if 
she knows I am back again, all this while, I shall be lectured." 

He shook hands with them. Barbara, however, accompanied him to 
the front door, and stepped outside with him. 

" You will catch cold, Barbara. You have left )our shawl in-doors." 

" Oh no, I shall not. How very soon you arc leaving ; you have 
scarcely stayed ten minutes." 

" But you forget that I have not yet been home." 

" You were on your road to Beauchamp's, and would not have been 
liomc for an hour or two in that case," spoke Barbara in a tone that 
savoured of resentment. 

"That was different ; that was upon business ; and no one allows for 
business more readily than Cornelia. But I shall not hear the last of it, 
if I suffer anything but business to keep mc away from her. She has five 
hundred inquiries, about London, at her tongue's end, this instant, bo 
you very sure. Barbara, I think your mamma looks unusually ill." 

" You know how she suffers a little thing to upset her, and last night 
she had what she calls one of her dreams," answered Barbara. " She 
says it is a warning that something bad is going to happen, and she has 
been in the most unhappy, feverish state possible all day. Papa has 
been quite angry about her being so weak and nervous, declaring that 
she ought to rouse herself out of her ' nerves.' Of course we dare not 
tell him about the dream." 



BARBARA HARE. 19 

'• It related to— the " 

Mr. Carlylo stopped, and Barbara glanced round with a shudder, 
?.nd drew close to him as she whispered. He had not given her his 
arm this time. 

" Yes ; to the murder. You know mamma has always declared th.it 
Bethel had something to do with it ; she says her dreams would have 
convinced her of it, if nothing else did, and she dreamt she saw him 
with — with — you know." 

" Hallijohn?" whispered Mr. Carlyle. 

'• With Hallijohn," assented Barbara with a shiver. " He appeared 
to be standing over him, as he lay on the floor ; just as he did lie on 
it. And that wretched Afy was standing at the end of the kitchen, 
looking on." 

" But Mrs. Hare ought not to suffer dreams to disturb her peace by 
il.iy," remonstrated Mr. Carlyle. " It is not surprising that she dreams 
of the murder, because she is ahva) s dwelling upon it, but she should 
strive to throw the feeling from her with the night." 

" You know what mamma is. Of course she ought to do so, but she 
cannot. Papa wonders what makes her get up so ill and trembling in 
a morning, and mamma has to make all sorts of excuses ; for not a hint, 
as you are aware, must be breathed to him about the murder." 

Mr. Carlyle gravely nodded. 

" Mamma does so harp upon Bethel. And I know that this dream 
arose from nothing in the world but because she saw him pass the gate 
yesterday. Not that she thinks it was he who did it ; unfortunately, 
there is no room for that ; but she will persist that he had a hand in 
it in some way ; and he haunts her dreams." 

Mr. Carlyle walked on in silence ; indeed, there was no reply that he 
could make. A cloud had fallen upon the house of Mr. Hare, and it 
was an unhappy subject. Barbara continued : 

" But, for mamma to have taken it into her head that ' some evil is 
going to happen ' because she has had this dream, and to make herself 
miserable over it, is so very absurd, that I have felt quite cross with 
licr all day. Such nonsense, you know, Archibald, to believe that 
dreams give signs of what is going to happen ! So far behind these 
enlightened days 1 " 

" Your mamma's trouble is great, Barbara ; and she is not strong." 

" I think all our troubles have been great since — since that dark 
evening," responded Barbara. 

"Have you heard from Anne.'" inquired Mr. Carlyle, willing to 
change the subject. 

" Yes, she is very well. What do you think they are going to name 
the baby ? Anne : after her and mamma. So very ugly a name ! " 

" I do not think so." said Mr. Carlyle. " It is simple and unpretend- 
ing ; I like it much. Look at the long, pretentious names in our 
family — Archibald ! Cornelia ! And yours, too — Barbara I What a 
mouthful they all are ! " 

Barbara contracted her eyebrows. This was equi\'alent to saying 
that he did not like her name. 

"Had the magistrates a busy day yesterday, do you know?" he 
resumed. 



20 EAST LYNNE. 

" Very much so, I believe. But you have not remained long enough 
for me to tell you any news." 

They reached the gate, and Mr. Carlyle was about to pass out of it, 
when Barbara laid her hand on his arm to detain him, and spoke in a 
timid voice. " Archibald." 

" What is it ? " 

" I have not said a word of thanks to you for this," she said, touching 
the chain and locket. "Do not deem me ungrateful." 

" You foolish girl ! — it is not worth thanks. There ! now I am paid. 
Good night, Barbara." 

He had bent down and kissed her cheek ; swung through the gate, 
laughing, and strode away. " Don't say I never give you anything," he 
turned his head round to say. " Good night." 

All her veins were tingling, all her pulses beating ; her heart was 
throbbing with its sense of bliss. He had never kissed her, that she 
could remember, since she was a child. And when she returned in- 
doors her spirits were so extravagantly high, that Mrs. Hare wondered. 

" Ring for the lamp, Barbara, and you can get to your work. But 
don't have the shutters closed : I like to look out on these light nights." 

Barbara, however, did not take up her work ; she also perhaps liked 
" looking out on a light night," for she sat down at the window. She 
was living the last half hour over again. " ' Don't say I never give you 
anything,' " she murmured : " did he allude to the chain, or to the — 
the kiss .'' Oh, Archibald ! why don't you say that you love me ? " 

Mr. Carlyle had been all his life upon intimate terms with the 
Hares. His father's first wife — for the late lawyer Carlyle had been 
twice married — had been a cousin of Justice Hare's, and this had 
caused the families to be much together. Archibald, the child of the 
second Mrs. Carlyle, had alternately teased and petted Anne and 
Barbara Hare, boy fashion. Sometimes he quarrelled with the pretty 
little girls, sometimes he caressed them, as he would have done had 
they been his sisters ; and he made no scruple of declaring publicly to 
the pair, that Anne was his favourite. A gentle, yielding girl was she, 
like her mother ; whereas Barbara displayed her own will, and it 
sometimes clashed with young Carlylc's. 

The clock struck ten. Mrs. Hare took her customary dose of 
brandy-and-water, a small tumbler three parts full. Without it, she 
believed she could never sleep; it deadened unhappy thought, she said. 
I'arbara, after making it, had turned again to the window, but did not 
resume her seat. She stood in front of it, her forehead bent forward 
against the middle pane. The lamp, casting a blight light, was behind 
her, so that her figure might be distinctly observed from the lawn, had 
any one been there to look upon it. 

She stood in the midst of dreamland, giving way to all its enchanting 
and most delusive fascinations. She saw herself, in anticipation, the 
wife of- Mr. Carlyle, the envied, tlirice envied of all West Lynne ; 
for, even as he was the dearest on earth to her heart, so was he 
the greatest matcii in the neighbourhood around. Not a mother but 
coveted him for her child ; not a d<iught(.:r l)ut would have said " Yes, 
and thank you," to an offer from the attractive Archibald Carlyle. " I 
jiever was sure, quite sure, of it till to-night," murmured Barbara, 



THE MOONLIGHT INTERVIEW. 21 

caressing the locket, and holding it to her cheek : " I always thought 
he might mean something, cr be might mean nothing ; but to give mc 
this — to kiss mc — oh, Archibald ! " 

A pause. Barbara's eyes were fixed upon the moonlight. 

" If he would only say he loved me ! if he would only ease my aching 
heart ! But it must come ; I know it will ; and if that cantankerous 
old Corny " 

Barbara Hare stopped. What was that, at the far end of the lawn, 
just in advance of the shade of the dense trees ? Their leaves were 
not causing the movement, for it was a still night. It had been there 
some minutes and was evidently a human form. What was it ? Surely 
it was making signs to her ! 

Or else it looked as though it were. That was certainly its arm 
moving, and now it advanced a pace nearer, and raised something 
which it wore on its head — a battered hat with a broad brim, a " wide- 
awake," encircled with a wisp of straw. 

Barbara Hare's heart leaped, as the saying runs, into her mouth, 
and her face became deadly white in the moonlight. Her first thought 
was to alarm the servants ; her second, to be still ; for she remembered 
the fear and mystery that attached to the house. She went into the 
hall, shutting her mother into the parlour, and stood in the shade of the 
portico, gazing still. But the figure evidently followed her movements, 
and the hat was again taken off, and waved violently. 

Barbara Hare turned sick with utter terror; s/te must firthom it ; 
she must see who and what it was ; for the servants she dared not call, 
and those movements were imperative, and might not be disregarded ; 
but she possessed more innate courage than falls to the lot of many 
young ladies. 

"Mamma," she said, returning to the parlour and catching up her 
shawl, while striving to speak without emotion, " I shall just walk down 
the path, and see if papa is coming." 

Mrs. Hare did not reply. She was musing upon other things, in 
that quiescent, happy mood which a small portion of spirits will 
impart to one weak in body ; and Barbara softly closed the door and 
stole out again to the portico. She stood a moment to rally her 
courage, and again the hat was waved impatiently. 

Barbara Hare commenced her walk towards it ; an undefined sense 
of evil filling her sinking heart. Mingling with it came, with a rush of 
terror, a fear of that other undefined evil— the evil Mrs. Hare had 
declared was foreshadowed in her dream. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE MOONLIGHT INTERVIEW. 



Cold and still looked the old house in the moonbeams. Never was 
the moon brighter : it lighted the far-stretching garden, illumined even 
the weathercock, shone upon the portico, and upon Barbara as she had 
appeared in it. Stealing from the portico, walked Barbara, her eyes 
strained in dread affright on that grove of trees, at the foot of the 



22 EAST LYNNE. 

garden. What was it that had stepped out of the trees, and mysteriously 
beckoned to her as she stood at the window, turning her heart to sick- 
ness as she gazed ? Was it a human being, one to bring more evil on 
the house, where so much evil had already fallen ; was it a supernatural 
visitant ; or was it but a delusion of her own eyesight ? Not the latter, 
certainly, for the figure was now emerging again, motioning to her as 
before ; and, with a white face and shaking limbs, Barbara clutched 
her shawl round her and went down the path in the moonlight. The 
beckoning form retreated within the dark trees as she neared it, and 
Barbara halted. 

" Who and what are you ? " she asked under her breath. " What do 
you want ? " 

" Barbara," was the whispered, eager answer, " don't you recognize 
me ? " 

Too surely she did ; the voice at any rate ; and a cry escaped her, 
telling more of terror than of joy, though betraying both. She pene- 
trated the trees, and burst into tears as one in the dress of a farm 
labourer caught her in his arms. In spite of his smock-frock, his 
straw-wisped hat and his false whiskers, black as Erebus, she knew 
him for her brother. 

" Oh, Richard ! where have you come from ? W^hat brings you 
here?" 

" Did you know me, Barbara? " was his rejoinder. 

" How was it likely — in this disguise ? A thought crossed my mind 
that it might be some one from you, and even that turned me sick with 
terror. How could you be so hazardous as to come here ? " she added, 
wringing her hands. " If you are discovered, it is certain death ; death 
— upon— you know ! " 

'' Upon the gallows," returned Richard Hare. " I do know it, 
Barbara." 

" Then whv risk it ? Should mamma see you, it will kill her out- 
right." 

" I can't live on as I am living now," he answered, gloomily. " I 
have been working in London ever since " 

"In London ! " interrupted Barbara. 

" In London ; and have never stirred out of it. But it is hard work 
for me, and now I have an opportunity of doing better, if I can obtain 
a little money. Perhaps my mother can let me have it. It is this that 
I have come to ask for." 

" How arc you working ? What at ? " 

" In a stable-yard." 

" A stable-yard ! " she uttered, in a deeply-shocked tone. " Richard ! " 

" Did you expect it wotild be as a merchant ; or a banker ; or per- 
ha])s as secretary to one of her Majesty's ministers — or that I was a 
gentleman at large, living on my fortune?" retorted Richard Hare, in 
a tone of chafed anguish, painful to hear. " I earn twelve shillings :i 
week, Barbara, and that has to iind me in everything." 

" Poor Richard ! poor Richard ! " she wailed, caressing his hand, and 
weeping over it. " Oh, what a miserable night's work that was ! Our 
only comfort is, Richard, that you must have committed the deed in 
madness." 



THE TMOONLIGHT INTERVIEW. 23 

" I did not coiviinil it at all,'' he replied. 

" What ? " she exclaimed. 

" r)aibara, 1 swear that I am innocent ; I swear I was not present 
when the man was murdered ; I swear that, from my own positive 
knowledge, my eyesight, I know no more who did it than you know. 
To guess at it is enough fur me ; and my guess is as sure and true a 
one as that that moon is in the heavens above us." 

Barbara shivered as she drew closer to him. It was a shivering 
subject. " You surely do not mean to throw the guilt on Bethel ? " 

*' Bethel ? " slightly returned Richard Hare. " He had nothing to do 
with it. He was after his gins and his snares that night, though, 
poacher that he is ! " 

" Bethel is no poacher, Richard." 

" Is he not ? " rejoined Richard Hare, significantly. " The truth, as 
to what he is, may come out some time. Not that I wish it to come 
out ; the man has done no harm to me, and he may go on poaching 
with impunity till doomsday, for all I care. He and Locksley " 

" Richard," interrupted his sister, in a hushed \'oice, " mamma enter- 
tains one fixed idea, which she cannot put from her. She says she is 
certain Bethel had something to do with the murder." 

" Then she is wrong. Why should she think so ? " 

" How the conviction at first arose, I cannot tell you ; I do not think 
she knows herself. But you remember how weak and fanciful she is, 
and since 'chat dreadful night she is always having what she calls 
' dreams,' meaning that she dreams of the murder. In all these 
dreams Bethel is a prominent object ; and she says she feels an 
■ibsolute certainty that he was, in some way, mixed np in it." 

" Barbara, he was no more mixed up in it than you were." 

" And — you say that you were not ? " 

" I was not even at the cottage at the time ; I swear it to you. The 
man who did the deed was Thorn." 

■' Thorn ! " echoed Barbara, hfting her head. " Who is Thorn ? " 

" I don't know. I wish I did • I wish I could unearth him. He was 
a friend of Afy's." 

Barbara threw back her neck with a haughty gesture, " Richard ! " 

" What ? " 

" You forget yourself, when you mention that name to me." 

"Well," returned Richard, *' it was not to discuss these things that I 
have put myself in jeopardy And to assert my innocence can do no 
good : it cannot set aside the coroners verdict of ' Wilful Murder 
against Richard Hare, the younger.' Is my father as bitter against me 
as ever ? " 

" Quite. He never mentions your name, or suffers it to be men- 
tioned. He gave his orders to the servants that it never was to be 
spoken in the house again. Eliza could not, or would not, remember, 
and she persisted in still calling your room ' Mr. Richard's.' I think 
the woman did it heedlessly ; not mischievously, to provoke papa : she 
was a good servant, and had been with us three years, you know. The 
first time she transgressed, papa warned her ; the second, he thundered 
at her, as I believe no one else in the world can thunder ; and the thi'd 
time he turned her then and there from the doors. One of the other 



24 EAST LYNNE. 

servants carried her bonnet and shawl out to the gate, and her bodies 

were sent away the same day. Papa took an oath that Did you 

hear of it ? " 

" What oath ? He takes many." 

" This was a solemn one, Richard. After the deliveiy of the verdict, 
he took an oath in the justice-room, in the presence of his brother 
magistrates, that if he could find you he would deliver you up to 
justice, and that he would do so, though you might not turn up for ten 
years to come. You know his disposition, Richard, and therefore may 
be sure that he will keep it. Indeed, it is most dangerous for you to 
be here." 

" I know that he never treated me as he ought," cried Richard, 
bitterly. " If my health was delicate, causing my poor mother to 
indulge me, ouglit that to have been a reason for his ridiculing me on 
every possible occasion, public and private ? Had my home been made 
happier, I should not have sought the society I did elsewhere. Bar- 
bara, I must be allowed an interview with my mother." 

Barbara Hare reflected before she spoke. " I do not see how it could 
be managed." 

" ^Vhy can't she come out to me, as you have done ? Is she up or in 
bed ? " 

" It is impossible to think of it to-night," returned Barbara, in an 
alarmed tone. " Papa may be in at any moment ; he is spending the 
evening at Beauchamp's." 

" It is hard to have been separated from her for eighteen months, and 
to go back without seeing her," returned Richard. " And about the 
money .'' It is a hundred pounds that I want." 

" You must be here again to-morrow night, Richard. The money, no 
doubt, can be yours, but I am not so sure about your seeing mamma. 
1 am terrified for your safety. But if it is as you say, that you are inno- 
cent," she added, after a pause, " could it not be proved .'' " 

" Who is to prove it ? The evidence is strong against me ; and Thorn, 
did I mention him, would be as a myth to other people : no one knew 
anything of him." 

" Is he a myth ? " asked Barbara, in a low tone. 

" Are you and I myths?" retorted Richard. "So ! even you doubt me." 

" Richard," she suddenly exclaimed, " why not tell the whole circum- 
stances to Archibald Carlyle ? If any one can help you, or t.ake means 
to establish your innocence, he can. And you know that he is true as 
steel." 

" There's no other man living shoukl be trusted with the secret 
that I am here, except Carlyle. Where am I supposed to be, Barbara ? " 

"Some think you are dead, some that you are in Australia: the 
very uncertainty has nearly killed mamma. A report arose that you 
had been seen at Liverpool, in an Australian-bound ship, but we could 
not trace it to any foundation." 

" It had none. I dodged my way to London, and there I have been 
ever since." 

" Working in a stable-yard." 

" I could not do better. I was not brought up to anything ; and 1' 
did understand horses. Besides, a man that the police-runners were 



MR. CARLYLE'S OFFICE. 25 

aiter could be safer in obscurity, considering he was a gentleman, 
than— » 

Barbara turned suddenly and placed her hand upon her brother's 
mouth. " Be silent for your life," she whispered ; " here's papa." 

\'oices were heard approaching the gate, that of Justice Hare and 
of Sc[uirc Pinner. The latter walked on, the former came in. The 
brother and sister cowered together, scarcely daring to breathe : you 
miglit have heard Barbara's heart beating. I^lr. Hare closed the gate, 
and walked on up the path. 

" I must go, Richard," she hastily said ; " I dare not stay another 
minute. Be here again to-morrow night, and meanwhile I will see 
what can be done." 

She was speeding away, but Richard held her back. 

" You did not seem to believe my assertion of innocence. Barbara, 
we are here alone in the still night, with God above us : as truly as 
that you and I must some time meet Him face to face, I have told you 
truth. It was Thorn murdered Hallijolin, and I had nothing whatever 
to do with it." 

Barbara came out of the trees and flew along, but Mr. Hare was 
already in, locking and barring the door. " Let me in, papa," she 
called out. 

The justice opened the door again, and his flaxen wig, his aquiline 
nose, and his amazed eyes gazed at Barbara. " Halloa ! what brings 
you out at this time of night, young lady ? " 

" I went down to the gate to look for you," she panted, " and had— 
had— strolled over to the side path. Did you not see me ?" 

Barbara was truthful by nature and habit ; but, in such a cause, 
how could she avoid dissimulation ? '' 'J'hank you, papa," she said, as 
she went in. 

" You ought to have been in bed an nour ago," angrily responded 
Mr. Justice Hare. 



CHAPTER V. 

MR. CARLYLE'S OFFICE. 



In the centre of West Lynne stood two houses adjoining each other, 
one large, tlie other much smaller. The large one was the Carlyle 
residence, and the small one was devoted to the Carlyle offices. The 
name of Carlyle bore a lofty standing in the county ; Carlyle and 
Davidson were known as first-class practitioners ; no pettifogging 
lawyers were they. It was Carlyle and Davidson in the days gone 
by ; now it was Archibald Carlyle. The old /irm were brothers-in- 
law, the first Mrs. Carlyle having been Mr. Davidson's sister. She 
had died and left one child, Cornelia, who was grown up when her 
father married again. The second Mrs. Carl)le died when her son, 
Archibald, was born, and his half-sister reared him, loved him, and 
ruled him. She bore for him all the authority of a mother ; the boy 
had known no other, and when a little child, he had called her 
Mamma Corny. Mamma Corny had done her duty by him, that was 



26 EAST LYNNE. 

not to be doubted ; but Mamma Corny had never relaxed her rule ; 
with an iron hand she hked to rule him now, in great things as in small, 
just as she had ruled in the days of his babyhood. And Archibald 
generally submitted, for the force of habit is strong. She was a woman 
of strong sense, but, in some things, of weak judgment : and the ruling 
passions of her life were love of Archibald, and lo\'c of saving mone) . 
Mr. Davidson had died earlier than Mr. Carlyle, and his fortune — he 
had never married — was left equally divided between Cornelia and 
Archibald. Archibald was not related to him, but he loved the open- 
hearted boy better than he did his niece Cornelia. Of ]\Ir. Carlyle's 
property, a small portion only was bequeathed to his daughter, the rest 
to his son : and in this perhaps there was justice, since the ;^2o,c>oo 
brought to Mr. Carlyle by his second wife had been chiefly instrumental 
in the accumulation of his large fortune. 

Miss Carlyle, or, as she was called in the town, Miss Corny, had 
never married ; it was pretty certain she never would ; people thought 
that her intense love of her young brother kept her single, for it was 
not likely that the daughter of the rich Mr. Carlyle had wanted for 
offers. Other maidens confess to soft and tender impressions ; to a 
hope of being, some time or other, solicited to abandon their father's 
name, and become somebody's better half. Not so Miss Carlyle : all 
who had approached her with the love-lorn tale, she sent quickly to the 
right-about. The last venture was from the new curate, and it occurred 
when she was in her fortieth year. He made his appearance at her 
house one morning betimes, in his white Sunday necktie, and a pair of 
new lavender gloves drawn on for the occasion. Miss Corny, who was 
an exceedingly active housekeeper in her own home, a great deal more 
so than her servants liked, had just been giving her orders for dinner. 
They comprised, amongst other things, a treacle-pudding for the kitchen, 
and she went herself to the store-closet with a basin to ladle out the 
necessary treacle. The closet opened from the dining-room, and it 
was while she was in it that the curate was ushered in. Miss Carlyle, 
who completely ignored ceremony, and had never stood upon it in her 
life, came out, basin of treacle in hand, which she deposited on the 
table while she disposed herself to listen to the rev^ercnd gentleman, 
who was twelve years her junior, and very diffident, so that he was 
some time getting his business out. Miss Corny wished him and his 
stammering somewhere, for she knew the pudding was waiting for the 
treacle, and helped him out as much as she could, putting in words 
when he seemed at fault for them. She supposed he wanted her name 
to some subscription, and she stood ]ooking down at him with im- 
patience, for he was at least a foot shorter than she. When the startling 
truth at length disclosed itself, that he had come begging for Jier, and not 
for money. Miss Carlyle for once lost her temper. She screamed out 
tliat he ought to ho. asliamcd of himself for a raw boy as he was, and 
she flung the contents of the basin over his spotless shirt-front. How 
the crest-fallen divine escaped from the house and down West Lynnc 
to his lodgings, he never cared to recall. The story got wind, and 
Miss Corny was not troul)led with any more offers. 

Mr. Carlyle was seated in In's own private room in his office the morn- 
ing after his return from town. His confidential clerk and manager 



MR. CARLYLES OFFICE. 27 

stood near him, one who had far more to do with tlic manaf^emcnt of 
affairs than Mr. Carlyle himself It was Mr. Dill, a little, meek-looking 
man, with a bald head. He was on the rolls, had been admitted years 
and years ago, but had never set u]i for himself. Perhaps he thought 
the post of head manager in the otiice of Carlyle and Davidson, with 
its substantial salary, sufficient for his ambition ; and manager he had 
been to them when the present Mr. Carlyle was in long clothes. He 
was a single man, and occupied handsome apartments near at hand. A 
shrewd surmise obtained weight in West Lynnc that he was a devoted 
admirer of Miss Carlyle, humbly worshipping her at a distance. 
Whether this was so or not, certain it is that he was very fond of his 
present master, Mr. Archibald, as he generally styled him. He was 
now giving an account of v.'hat had transpired during the few days of 
absence. 

'' Jones and Rushworlh have come to an outbreak at last," cried he, 
when he had pretty nearly arrived at the end of his catalogue, " and 
the upshot will be an action at the summer assizes. They were both 
here yesterday, one after the other, each wanting you to act for him, 
and will be here to-day for an answer." 

" I will not act for either," said Mr. Carly^le ; " I will have nothing to 
do with them. They are a bad lot, and it was an iniquitous piece of 
business their obtaining the money in the first instance. When rogues 
fall out, honest men get their own. I aecline it altogether ; let them 
carry themselves to some one else.' 

" Very good," replied Mr. Dill. 

" Colonel Bethel's here, sir," said L^. clerk, opening the door, and 
addressing IMr. Carlyle. *' Can you see him ? " 

Mr. Dili turned round to the clerk. ",Ask the colonel to wait. 1 
think that's about all," he added to his lakzifr, as the man withdrew. 

" Very well. Dill, certain papers will be down in a few days, relating 
to mortgages and claims on the East Lynne estate ; they are coming 
with the title deeds. I want them carefully looked over dyyou, and 
nothing said." 

Mr. Dill gave a quiet nod. 

" East Lynnc is about to change hands. And, in purchasing property 
from an embarrassed manlike Mount Severn, it is necessary to be keen 
and cautious," continued Mr. Carlyle. 

" It is. Has he come to the end of his tether ? " 

" Not far short of it, I fancy ; but East Lynne will be disposed of 
SJ/l^ rosa. Not a syllable abroad, you understand." 

"All right, Mr. Archibald. Who is the purchaser? It is a fine 
property." 

Mr. Carlyle smiled. " Vou will know who, long before the world 
does. Examine the deeds with a Jew's eve. And now send in 
r>cthcl." 

Between Mr. Carlyle's room and that of the clerks' was a small 
•square space, or hall, having entrance also from the house passage ; 
another room opened from it, a narrow one which was Mr. Dill's own 
peculiar sanctum ; here he saw clients when Mr. Carlyle was out or 
engaged, and here he issued private orders. A little window, not 
larger than a pane of glass, looked out from it on to the clerks' office ; 



22 EAST LYNNE. 

they called it Old Dill's peep-hole, and wished it anywhere else, fof 
his spectacles might be discerned at it more often than was agreeable.. 
The old gentleman had a desk also in their office, and there he fre- 
quently sat. He was sitting there in state, this same mornmg, keeping 
a sharp look out around him, when the door timidly opened, and the 
pretty face of Barbara Hare appeared, rosy with blushes. 

"Can I see Mr. Carlyle?" 

Mr. Dill rose from his seat and shook hands with her. She drew 
him into the passage, and he closed the door. Perhaps he felt sur- 
prised, for it was not the custom for ladies, young and single, to come 
there after Mr. Carlyle. 

" Presently, Miss Barbara ; he is engaged just now. The justices are 
with him." 

" The justices ! " uttered Barbara, in alarm, ■* and papa one of them ? 
What shall I do .-^ He must not see me ; I would not have him see me 
here for the world." 

An ominous sound of talking ; the justices were evidently coming 
forth. Mr. Dill seized upon Barbara, drew her through the clerks' 
room, not daring to take her the other way lest he should encounter 
them, and shut her into his own. " What brought papa here at this 
moment ? " thought Barbara, whose face was crimson. 

A few minutes and Mr. Dill opened the door again. " They are gone 
now, and the coast's clear. Miss Barbara." 

" I don't know what opinion you must form of me, Mr Dill," she 
whispered, " but I will tell you in confidence that I am here on busmess 
for mamma, who was not well enough to come herself. It is a little 
private matter that she docs not wish papa to know of." 

" Child," answered the manager, " a lawyer receives visits from many 
people ; and it is not the place of those about him to ' think.' " 

He opened the door as he spoke, ushered her into the presence of 
Mr. Carlyle, and left her. The latter rose in astonishment. 

" You must regard me as a client, and pardon the intrusion," said 
Barbara, with a forced laugh to hide her agitation. " I am here on 
the part of mamma : and I nearly met papa in your passage, which 
terrified me out of my senses. Mr. Dill shut me into his room." 

Mr. Carlyle motioned to Barbara to seat herself, and then resumed 
his own seat, beside his table. Barbara could not avoid noticing how 
different his manners were in his office, from his evening manners when 
he was " off duty." Here he was the staid, calm man of business. 

" I have a strange thing to tell you,'' she began, in a whisper, " but — 
is it possible that any one can hear us t " she broke off, with a look of 
dread. " It would be — it might be — death." 

"It is quite impossible,'' calmly replied Mr Carlyle. "The doors 
are double doors : did you not notice that they were so ? " 

Nevertheless, she left her chair, and stood close to Mr. Carlyle, 
resting her hand upon tlie table. He rose, of course. 

" Richard is here." 

" Richard ! " repeated Mr. Carlyle. " At West Lynne ! " 

" He appeared at the house last night in disguise, and made signs 
to me from the grove of trees. You may imagine my alarm. He has 
been in London all this time, half starving, working — I feci ashamed 



MR. CARLYLE'S OFFICE. 29 

to mention it to you — in a stable-yard ! And oh, Archibald ! he says 
he is innocent." 

Mr. Carlyle made no reply to this : he probably put no faith in the 
assertion. " Sit down, Barbara," he said, drawing her chair closer. 

Barbara sat down again, but her manner was hurried and nervous. 
"Is it quite sure that no stranger will come in? It would look so 
peculiar to see me here. But mamma was too unwell to come herself 
— or rather, she feared papa's questioning, if he found out that she 
came." 

" Be at ease," replied Mr. Carlyle ; " this room is sacred from the 
intrusion of strangers. What of Richard ? " 

" He says that he was not in the cottage at the time the murder was 
committed. That the person who really did it was a man of the name 
of Thorn." 

" What Thorn ? " asked Mr. Carlyle, suppressing all sign of incre- 
dulity. 

" I don't know : a friend of Afy's, he said. Archibald, he swore to 
it in the most solemn manner : and I believe, as truly as that I am now 
repeating it to you, that he was speaking truth. I want you to see 
Richard, if possible ; he is coming to the same place to-night. If he 
can tell his own tale to you, perhaps you might find out a way by which 
his innocence may be made manifest. You are so clever ; you can do 
anything." 

Mr. Carlyle smiled. "Not quite anything, Barbara. Was this the 
purport of Richard's visit — to say this ? " 

" Oh no : he thinks it is of no use to say it, for no one would believe 
him against the evidence. He came to ask for a hundred pounds ; he 
says he has an opportunity of doing better if he can have that sum. 
Mamma has sent me to you : she has not the money by her, and she 
dare not ask papa for it, as it is for Richard. She bade me say that if 
you will kindly oblige her with the money to-day, she will arrange with 
you about its repayment." 

" Do you want it now ? " asked Mr. Carlyle. " If so I must send to the 
bank. Dill never keeps much money in the house when I am away." 

" Not until evening. Can you manage to see Richard ?" 

" It is hazardous," mused Mr. Carlyle : "for him, I mean. Still, if 
he is to be in the grove to-night, I may as well be there also. What 
disguise is he in.'"' 

" A farm labourer's — the best he could adopt about here — with large 
black whiskers. He is stopping about three miles off, he said, in 
some obscure hiding-place. And now," continued Barbara, " I want 
you to ad\isc me : had I better inform mamma that Richard is here 
or not ? " 

Mr. Carlyle did not understand : and said so. 

" I declare that I am bewildered," she exclaimed. " I should have 
premised lliat I have not yet told mamma it is Rich.ird himself who is 
here : but that he had sent a messenger to licg fur this money. \\'ould 
it be advisable to acquaint her with the trutli ? " 

"Why should you not ? I think you ought to do so." 

"Then I v.ill. I feared the hazard, for she is sure to insist upon 
seeing him, Richard also wishes for an interview." 



30 EAST LYNNE. 

" It is only natural. Mrs. Hare must be thankful to hear, so far, 
that he is safe." 

" I never saw anything like it," returned Barbara. " The change is 
akin to magic. She says it has put new life into her. And now for the 
last thing : how can we secure papa's absence from home to-night ? It 
must be accomplished in some way. You know his temper : were I or 
mamma to suggest to him to go and see any friend, or to go to the 
club, he would immediately stop at home. Can you devise any plan ? 
You see I appeal to you in all my troubles," she added, " as I and 
Anne used to do, when we were children." 

It may be questioned if Mr. Carlyle heard the last remark. He 
drooped his eyelids in thought. "Have you told me all?" he asked 
presently, lifting them. 

" I think so." 

"Then I will think it over, and—" 

" I shall not like to come here again," interrupted Barbara. " It — 
it — might excite suspicion ; some one might see me, too, and mention 
it to papa. Neither ought you to send to our house." 

"Well — contrive to be in the street at four this afternoon. Stay, 
that's your dinner-hour ; be walking up the street at three ; three pre- 
cisely ; I will meet you." 

He rose, shook hands, and escorted Barbara through the small hall, 
along the passage to the house door : a courtesy probably not yet 
shown to any client by Mr. Carlyle. The door closed upon her, and 
Iiarbara had taken one step from it when something large loomed 
down upon her, like a ship in full sail. 

She must have been the tallest lady in the world — -out of a caravan. 
A line woman in her day, but angular and bony now. Still, in spite of 
the angles, there v/as majesty in the appearance of Miss Carlyle. 

"Why — what on earth !" began she — " Have you been with Archi- 
bald ? " 

Barbara Hare stammered out the excuse she had given to Mr. Dill. 

" Your mamma sent you on business ! I never heard of such a 
thing. Twice have I been in to see Archibald, and twice did Dill 
answer that he was engaged and must not l)e interrupted. I shall 
make old Dill expl.iin liis meaning for observing a mystery to me." 

"There is no mystery," answered Barlxira, feeling quite sick lest 
Miss Carlyle should proclaim that there was, before the clerks, or to 
her father, " Mamma wanted Mr. Carlylc's opinion upon a little 
l)rivale business, and, not feeling well enough to come herself, she 
sent me." 

Miss Carlyle did not believe a word of this. " What business ? " 
asked she, unceremoniously. 

" It is nothing that could interest you. A trifling matter, relating to 
a little money. It's nothing, indeed." 

" Then, if it's nothing, why were you closeted so long with Archi- 
bald ? " 

" He was asking the particulars," replied Barbara, recovering her 
equanimity. 

Miss Carlyle sniffed : as she invariably did when dissenting from a 
problem. She was sure there was some mystery astir. She turned, 



MR. CARLYLE'S OFFICE. 31 

and walked down the street with Darbara, but she was none the more 
hkcly to get anything out of her. 

Mr. Cailyle returned to his room, dchberated a few moments, and 
tlien rang his bell. A clerk answered it. 

"Go to the Buck's Head. If Mr. Hare and the other magistrates 
arc there, ask them to step o\er to me." 

The young man did as he was bid, and came back with the noted 
justices at his heels. They obeyed the summons with alacrity : for 
tliey believed they had brought themselves into a judicial scrape, and 
that Mr. Carlyle alone could get them out of it. 

*' I will not request you to sit down," began Mr. Carlyle, " for it is 
barely a moment I shall detain you. The more I think about this 
man's having been put in prison, the less I like it ; and I have been 
considering that you had better, all five, come and smoke your pipes 
at my house this evening, when we shall have time to discuss what 
must be done. Come at seven, not later ; and you will tind my father's 
old jar replenished with the best broadcut, and half a dozen church- 
w arden pipes. Shall it be so ? " 

The whole five accepted the invitation eagerly. And they were 
tiling out, when Mr. Carl)le laid his finger on the arm of Justice 
Hare. 

" ]^ou will be sure to come, Mr. Hare," he whispered. "We could 
not get on without you. All heads," with a slight inclination towards 
those going out, " arc not gifted with the clear good sense of yours." 

" Sure and certain," responded the gratified justice : '' fire and water 
shouldn't keep me awa)-.'' 

Soon after Mr. Carlyle was left alone, another clerk entered. " Miss 
Carlyle is asking to see you, sir, and Colonel Bethel's come again." 

"Send in Miss Carlyle first," was the answer. "What is it, Cor- 
nelia?" 

"Ah I You may well ask me what ! Saying this morning that you 
could not dine at six, as usual, and then marching oft", and never fixing 
the hour. How can I give my orders ?" 

'* I thought business would have called me out, but I am not going 
now. We will dine a little earlier, Cornelia : say a quarter before six, 
1 have invit — " 

"What's up, Archibald?" interrupted Miss Carlyle. 

"Up! Nothing, that I know of. I am very busy, Cornelia, and 
Colonel Bethel is waiting ; I will talk to you at dinner-time." 

In reply to this plain hint, Miss Carlyle deliberately seated herself in 
the client's chair, and crossed her legs, her shoes and her white stock- 
ings in full view : for Miss Corny disdained long dresses as much as 
she disdained crinoline ; or, as the inflated machines were then called, 
corded petticoats, for crinoline had not come in. " I mean, what's up 
at the Hares, that Barbai-a should come here and be closeted with you ? 
Business for her mother, she said." 

" Why, you know the mess that Hare and the other justices have 
got into ; committing that poor fellow to prison, because he was seen 
to pull up a weed in his garden on a Sunday," returned Mr.Caxlyle, after 
an almost imperceptible pause. " Mrs. Hare — " 

" A set of bumber-hcaded old donkeys ! " was the complimentary in- 



32 EAST LYNNE. 

terruption of Miss Carlyle= " The whole bench have not an ounce of 
sense between them." 

" Mrs. Hare is naturally anxious for my opinion, for there may be 
some trouble over it, the man having appealed to the Home Secretary. 
She was too ill, Barbara said, to come to me herself. Cornelia, I have 
invited a party for to-night." 

" A party ! " echoed IVIiss Carlyle. 

" Four or five of the justices ; they are coming in to smoke their 
pipes. You must put out my father's leaden tobacco box, and — " 

" They shan't come," screamed ]\Iiss Carlyle. " Do you think I'll be 
poisoned with tobacco-smoke from a dozen pipes ? " 

" You need not sit in the room." 

" Nor they either. Clean curtains are just put up throughout the 
house, and I'll have no horrid pipes to blacken them." 

" Cornelia," returned Mr. Carlyle, in a grave, firm tone, which, 
opinionated as she was, never failed in its effect upon her, " my having 
them is a matter of business ; of business, you understand ; and come 
they must. If you object to their being in the sitting-rooms, they 
must be in my bedroom." 

The word "business" always bore for Miss Carlyle one meaning, 
that of money-making. Mr. Carlyle knew her weak point, and some- 
times played upon it, when he could gain his end by no other means. 
Her love for money amounted almost to a passion ; to acquire it, or to 
hear that he was acquiring it, was very dear to her. The same could 
not be said of him ; many andmany a dispute, that would have brought 
him in large sums, had it gone on to an action, did he labour to soothe 
down ; and had reconciled his litigants by his plain sincere advice. 

" I'll buy you some new curtains, Cornelia, if their pipes spoil these," 
he quietly resumed. " And I really must beg you to leave me." 

" When I have come to the bottom of this affair with Barbara Hare," 
resolutely returned Miss Corny, dropping the point of contest as to the 
pipes. " You are very clever, Archie, but you can't deceive me. I 
asked Barbara what she came here for ; business for her mamma, 
touching money matters, was her reply. I ask you : to hear your 
opinion about the scrape the bench have got into, is yours. Now, it's 
neither one nor the other, and I tell you, Archibald, I'll hear what it 
is. I should like to know what you and Barbara do with a secret 
between you." 

She sat bold upright in her chair and stared at him, her lofty figure 
drawn to its full lieight. Not in features were they alike ; some resem- 
blance, perhaps, there might be in the expanse of the forehead and the 
way in which the hair grew, arched from the temjjlcs : Miss Carlylc's 
hair was going grey now, and she wore it in curls which were rarely 
smooth, fastened back by combs which were as rarely in their places. 
Her face was pale, well-shaped, and remarkable for nothing but a hard, 
decisive expression ; her eyes, wide open and i)cnctrating, were of a 
shade called "green." But though she could not boast her brother's 
good looks, there were iiiaiiy plainer women in West Lynnc than 
Cornelia Carlyle. 

Mr. Carlyle knew her and her resolute expression well, and he decided 
to tell her the truth. She was, to borrow the words Barbara had used 



RICHARD HARE, THE YOUNGER. 33 

to her brother with regard to him, true as steel. Confide to Miss 
Carlyle a secret, and she was trustworthy and impervious as he could 
be : but, let her once suspect that there was a secret which was being 
kept from her, and she would set to work like a ferret, and never stop 
until it was unearthed. 

Mr. Carlyle bent forward and spoke in a whisper. " I will tell you 
if you wish, Cornelia, but it is not a pleasant thing to hear. Richard 
Hare has returned." 

Miss Carlyle looked perfectly aghast. " Richard Hare ! Is he mad ? " 

" It is not a very sane proceeding. He wants money from his 
mother, and Mrs. Hare sent Barbara to ask me to manage it for her. 
No wonder poor Barbara was flurried and nervous, for there's danger 
on all sides." 

" Is he at their house ? " 

" How could he be there, and his father within it ? He is in hiding 
two or three miles off, disguised as a labourer, and will be at the Grove 
to-night to receive this money. I have invited the justices here, to get 
Mr. riare safe away from his own house. If he saw Richard, he would 
undoubtedly give him up to justice, and — putting graver considerations 
aside — that would be pleasant neither for you nor for me. To have a 
connection hanged for wilful murder would be an ugly blot on the 
Carlyle escutcheon, Cornelia." 

Miss Carlyle sat in silence, revolving the news, a contraction on her 
ample brow. 

" And now you know all, Cornelia, and I do beg you to leave me, for 
I am overwhelmed with work to-day." 

She rose without a word, passed out, and left her brother in peace. 
He snatched up a note, the first apparently that lay to hand, put it in 
an envelope, sealed and addressed it to himself. Then he called in 
Mr. Dill, and gave it to him. The latter looked in surprise at the 
superscription. 

" At eight o'clock to-night. Dill, bring this to my house. Don't send 
it in ; ask for me. You understand." 

The old gentleman replied by a nod, and put the note in his pocket. 

Mr. Carlyle was walking down the street at three o'clock that after- 
noon, when he met Barbara Hare. " It is all arranged," he said to her 
in passing. " I entertain the bench of justices to-night, Barbara, to 
pipes and ale. Mr. Hare will make one of them." 

She looked up in doubt. " Then — if you entertain them, you will 
not be able to come and meet Richard ? " 

" Trust to me," was all his answer, as he hurried on. 



CHAPTER VI. 

RICHARD HARE, THE YOUNGER. 



The bench of justices did not fail to keep their appointment : at seven 
o'clock they arrived at Miss Carlyle's, one following closely upon the 
heels of another. The reader may dissent from the expression "Miss 
Carlyle's," but it is the correct one, for the house was hers, not her 
£ast LjmiM. S 



34 ^AST LYNN£= 

brother's. Though it remained his home, as it had been in hiS 
father's time, the house was amongst the property bequeathed to Miss 
Carlyle. 

Miss Carlyle chose to be present, in spite of the pipes and the smoke, 
and she was soon as deep in the discussion as the justices were. It 
was said in the town that she was as good a lawyer as her father had 
been : she undoubtedly possessed sound judgment in legal matters, 
and quick penetration. At eight o'clock a servant entered the room 
and addressed his master. 

" Mr. Dill is asking to see you, sir." 

Mr. Carlyle rose, and came back with an open note in his hand. 

'' I am sorry to find that I must leave you for half an hour. Some 
important business has arisen, but I will be back as soon as possible." 

"Who has sent for you?" immediately demanded Miss Corny. 

He gave her a quiet look, which she interpreted into a warning not 
to question. " Mr. Dill is here, and will join you to talk the affair 
over," he said to his guests. ''He knows the law better than I do ; but 
I shall not be long absent." 

He quitted his house, and Avalkcd with a rapid step towards the 
Grove. The moon was bright, as on the previous evening. After he 
had left the town behind him, and was passing the scattered villas 
already mentioned, he cast an involuntary glance at the Wood, which 
rose behind them on his left hand. It was called Abbey Wood, from 
the circumstance that in old days an abbey had stood in its vicinity, 
all trace of which, save in tradition, had long passed away. There was 
one small house, or cottage, just within the wood, and in that cottage 
had occurred the murder for which Richard Hare's life was in jeopardy. 
It was no longer occupied, for no one would rent it or live in it. 

Mr. Carlyle opened the gate of the Grove, and glanced at the trees 
on either side, but he neither saw nor heard any'sign of Richard's being 
concealed there. Barbara was at the window, looking out, and she 
came herself and opened the door to Mr. Carlyle. 

'' Mamma is in a most excited state," she whispered to him as he 
entered. " I knew how it would be." 

'' Has he come yet?" 

" I have no doubt of it, but he has made no signal." 

Mrs. Hare, feverish and agitated, with a burning spot on her delicate 
cheeks, stood by her chair, not occupying it. Mr. Carlyle placed a 
pocket-book in her hands. " I have brought it chiefly in notes," he 
said : " they will be easier for him to carry than gold." 

Mrs. Hare answered only by a look of gratitude, and clasped Mr. 
Carlyle's hand in both hers. " Archibald, I must see my boy ; how 
can it be managed ? Must I go into the gaulcn to him, or may he 
come in here?" 

" I think he might come in ; you know how very bad the night air is 
for you. Are the servants astir much this evening ? " 

''Tilings seem to have turned out luckily," said Barbara. "It 
happens to be Anne's birthday, so mamma sent me just now into the 
kitchen with a cake and a bottle of wine, desiring them to drink her 
health. I shut the door, and told them to make themselves comfort- 
able ; if we wanted anything, we would ring." 



RICHARD HARE, THE YOUNGER. 35 

"Then they are safe," observed Mr. Carlyle, "and Richard may 
come in." 

" I will ascertain whether he is there," said Barbara. 

"Stay where you are, Barbara; I will go myself," interposed l\Ir. 
Carlyle. " llnvc the door open when you sec us coming up the path." 

Barbara gave a faint cry, and, trembling, clutched the arm of Mr. 
Carlyle. " There he is ! See : standing out from the trees, just oppo- 
site this window." 

Mr. Carlyle turned to Mrs. Hare. " I shall not bring him in imme- 
diately. For, if I am to have an interview with him, it must be got 
over first, that I may go back to the justices, and keep Mr. Hare all safe." 

He proceeded on his way, gained the trees, and plunged into them. 
Leaning against one, stood Richard Hare. Apart from his disguise, 
and the false and fierce black whiskers, he was a blue-eyed, fair, plea- 
sant-looking young man, slight, and of middle height, and quite as 
yielding and gentle as his mother. In her, this mildness of disposition 
was rather a graceful quality ; in Richard it was regarded as a con- 
temptible misfortune. In his boyhood he had been nicknamed Leafy 
Dick, and when a stranger inquired wherefore, the answer was, that 
as a leaf is swayed by the wind, so he was swayed by every one about 
him, never possessing a will of his own. In short, Richard Hare, 
though of an amiable, loving nature, was not overburdened with what 
the world calls brains. Brains he certainly had, but they were not 
sharp ones. 

" Is my mother coming out to me?" asked Richard, after a few inter- 
changed sentences with Mr. Carlyle. 

"No. You are to go indoors. Your father is away, and the 
servants are shut up in the kitchen and will not see you. Though if 
they did, they could never recognize you in that trim. A fine pair of 
whiskers, Richard." 

" Let us go in, then. I am all in a twitter till I get away. Am T to 
ha\'e the money ? " 

" Yes, yes. But, Richard, your sister says you wish to disclose to 
me the true history of that lamentable night. You had better speak 
while we are here." 

'• It was Barbara who wanted you to hear it ; I think it of little 
moment. If the whole place heard the truth from me, it would do no 
good, for I should obtain no belief : not even from you." 

"Try me, Richard : in as few words as possible." 

"Well — there was a row at home about my going so much to Halli- 
john's. The governor and my mother thought I went after Afy ; 
perhaps I did, perhaps I didn't. Hallijohn had asked me to lend him 
my gun, and that evening, w^hen I went to see Af — when I went to see 
some one — never mind " 

" Richard," interrupted Mr. Carlyle, " there's an old saying, and it is 
sound advice : ' Tell the whole truth to your lawyer and your doctor.' 
If I am to judge whether anything can be attempted for you, you 
must tell it to me ; otherwise I would rather hear nothing. It shall 
be sacred trust." 

" Then, if I must, I must," returned the yielding Richard. " I did 
love the girl ; I would have waited till I was my ov.'n master to make 



36 EAST LYNNE. 

her my wife, though it had been for years and years. I could not do 
it, you know, in the face of my father's opposition." 

"Your wife?" rejoined Mr. Carlyle, with some emphasis. 

Richard looked surprised. " Why, you don't suppose I meant any- 
thing else ! I wouldn't have been such a blackguard." 

" Well, go on, Richard. Did she return your love ? " 

" I can't be certain. Sometimes I thought she did, sometimes not ; 
she used to play and shuffle, and she liked too much to be with — him. 
I thought her capricious — telling me I must not come this evening, 
and I must not come the other ; but I found out they were the 
evenings she expected him. We were never there together." 

" You forget that you have not indicated ' him ' by any name, 
Richard. I am at fault." 

Richard Hare bent forward till his black whiskers brushed Mr. 
Carlyle's shoulder. " It was that cursed Thorn." 

Mr. Carlyle remembered the name Barbara had mentioned. "Who 
was Thorn ? I never heard of him." 

" Neither did any one else, I expect, in West Lynne. He took 
precious good care of that. He lived some miles away, and used to 
come over in secret." 

" Courting Afy ? " 

" Yes, he did come courting her," returned Richard, in a savage tone. 
" Distance was no barrier to him. He would come galloping over at 
dusk, tie his horse to a tree in the wood, and pass an hour or two with 
Afy, in the house, when her father was not at home ; roaming about 
the wood with her, when he was." 

" Come to the point, Richard : to the evening." 

"HalHjohn's gun was out of order, and he requested the loan of 
mine. I had made an appointment with Afy to be at her house that 
evening, and I went down after dinner, carrying the gun with me. 
My father called after me to know where I was going : I said, out 
with young Beauchamp, not caring to meet his opposition ; and the lie 
told against me at the inquest. When I reached HalHjohn's : going 
the back way along the fields and through the wood path as I generally 
did go : Afy came out all reserve, as she could be at times, and said she 
was unable to receive me then, and I must go back home. Wc had a 
few words about it, and as we were speaking, Lockslcy passed, and saw 
me with the gun in my hand. I gave way to her ; she could do just 
what she liked with me, for I loved the very ground she trod on. I 
gave her the gun, telling her it was loaded, and she took it in-doors, 
shutting me out. I did not go away ; I had a suspicion that she had 
Thorn there, though she denied it to mc ; and I hid myself in some 
trees near the house. Again Locksley came into view, saw me there, 
and called out to know why I was hiding. I went farther off, and did 
not answer him — what were my private movements to him.'*— and that 
also told against me at the inquest. Not long afterwards, twenty 
minutes, perhaps, I heard a shot, which seemed to be in the direction 
of the cottage. ' Somebody having a late pop at the partridges,' 
thought I : for the sun was then setting, and at that moment I saw 
Bethel emerge from the trees and run in the direction of the cottage. 
That .vras the shot that killed Hallijohn." 



RICHARD HARE, THE YOUNGER. 37 

There was a pause. Mr, Carlyle looked keenly at Richard Hare in 
the moonlight. 

" Very soon, almost in the same minute, as it seemed, one came 
panting and tearing along the path leading from the cottage. It was 
Thorn. His appearance startled me : I had never seen a man show 
more utter terror. His face was livid, his eyes seemed starting, and 
his lips were drawn back from his teeth. Had 1 been a strong man, I 
should surely have attacked him ; I was mad with jealousy ; for I then 
saw that Afy had sent me away that she might entertain him." 

" I thought you said this Thorn never came except at dusk ? " 
observed Mr. Carlyle. 

" I never knew him to do so until that evening. All I can say is, he 
was there then. He flew along swiftly, and I afterwards heard the 
sound of his horse's hoofs, galloping away. I wondered what was up, 
that he should look so scared ; I wondered whether he had quarrelled 
with Afy. I ran to the house, leaped up the two steps, and — Carlyle 
— I fell over the prostrate body of Hallijohn ! He was lying just 
within, on the kitchen floor, dead. Blood was round about him, and 
my gun, just discharged, was thrown near him : he had been shot in 
the side." 

Richard stopped for breath. Mr. Carlyle did not speak. 

" I called to Afy. No one answered. No one was in the lower 
rooms ; and it seemed that no one was in the upper. A sort of panic 
came over me ; a fear : you know they always said at home I was a 
coward : I could not have remained another minute with that dead 
man, had it been to save my own life. I caught up the gun, and was 
making off, when " 

" Why did you catch up the gun ? " interrupted Mr. Carlyle. 

" Ideas pass through our minds more quickly than we can speak 
them, especially in these sort of moments," was the reply of Richard 
Hare. "Some vague notion flashed on my brain that viy i^iai ought 
not to be found near the murdered body of Hallijohn. I was flying 
from the door, I say, when Locksley emerged from the wood, in full 
view, and what possessed me I can't tell, but I did the worst thing 
I could do— flung the gun indoors again, and got away, although 
Locksley called after me to stop." 

" Nothing told so much against you as that," observed Mr. Carlyle. 
" Locksley deposed that he had seen you leave the cottage, gun in 
hand, apparently in great commotion ; that the moment you saw him, 
you hesitated, as from fear, flung back the gun, and escaped." 

Richard stamped his foot. " Ay ; and all owing to my cursed 
cowardice. They had better have made a woman of me, and brought 
me up in petticoats. But let me go on. I came upon Bethel : he was 
standing in that half-circle where the trees have been cut down. Now 
I knew that Bethel, if he had gone straight in the direction of the 
cottage, must have met Thorn c[uitting it. ' Did you encounter that 
hound .? ' I asked him. ' What hound ? ' returned Bethel. ' That 
flne fellow, that Thorn, who comes after Afy,' I answered, for I did 
not mind mentioning hen name in my passion. ' I don't know any 
Thorn,' returned Bethel, ' and I did not know any one was after .A.fy, 
but yourself.' ' Did you hear a shot?' I went on. ' Yes,' he replied j 



38 EAST LYNNE. 

' I suppose it was Locksley, for he's about this evening.' 'And I saw 
you,' I continued, 'just in the moment the shot was tired, turn round 
the corner in the direction of Halhjohn's.' 'So I did,' he said, 'but 
only to strike into the wood, a few paces up. What's your drift ? ' 
' Did you not encounter Thorn, running from the cottage ? ' I persisted. 
' I have encountered no one,' he said, ' and I don't believe any one is 
about but ourselves and Locksley.' I quitted him and came off," 
concluded Richard Hare ; " he evidently had not seen Thorn, and 
knew nothing." 

" And you decamped the same night, Richard ? It was a fatal step." 

" Yes, I was a fool. I thought Fd wait quietly, and see how things 
turned out ; but you don't know all. Three or four hours later, I went 
to the cottage again, and managed to get a minute's speech with Afy. 
I never shall forget it. Before I could say a syllable she flew out at 
me, accusing me of being the murderer of her father, and fell into 
hysterics out there on the grass. The noise brought people from the 
house — plenty were in it then — and I retreated. ' l{ s/ie can think me 
guilty, the world will think me guilty,' was my argument, and that 
night I went right off, to remain in hiding for a day or two, until I saw 
my way clear. It never came clear : the coroner's inquest sat, and the 
verdict floored me for ever. And Afy — but I won't curse her — fanned 
the flame against me, by denying that any one had been there that 
night. She had been at home alone, she said, and had strolled cut at 
the back door, to the path that leads from West Lynne, and was jlnger- 
ing there when she heard a shot. Fi\e minutes afterwards she returned 
to the house, and found Locksley standing over her dead father." 

Mr. Carlyle remained silent, rapidly running over in his mind the 
chief points of Richard Hare's communication. "Four of you, as I 
understand it, were in the neighbourhood of the cottage that night, 
and from one or other the shot no doubt proceeded. You were at a 
distance, you say, Richard ; Bethel also could not have been — " 

" It was not Bethel who did it," interrupted Richard ; " it is an im- 
possibility. I saw him, as I tell )ou, in the same moment that the gun 
was fired." 

" But now, where was Locksley ? " 

" It is equally impossible that it could have been Locksley. He was 
within my view at the time, at right angles from me, deep in the wood, 
away from the paths altogether. It was Thorn did the deed, beyond 
nil doubt, and the verdict ought to have been wilful murder against 
him. Carlyle, I see you don't believe my story." 

" What you say has startled me, and I must take time to consider 
wjicther I believe it or not," replied Mr. Carlyle, in his straightforward 
manner. "The most singular thing, if you witnessed Thorn's running 
away from the cottage in tlie manner you describe, is, that you did not 
come forward, and denounce him." 

" I didn't do it because I was a fool, a coward, as I have been all 
my life," rejoined Richard. " I can't help it : it was born with me, 
and will go with me to my grave. What would have been my word, 
that it was Thorn, when there was no one to corroborate it ? And the 
discliarged gun, mine, was a damnatory proof against me." 

"Another thing strikes me as curious," cried Mr. Carlyle. " If this 



RICHARD HARE, THE YOUNGER. 39 

man, Thorn, was in the habit of coming to West I.ynne, evening after 
evening, how was it that he was never observed ? This is the first time 
1 have heard any stranger's name mentioned in connection with the 
affair, or with Afy." 

" Thorn chose by-roads, and he never came, except that once, but at 
dusk or dark. It was evident to me at the time that he was courting 
her in secret. I told Afy so ; and that it argued no good for her. You 
;u-c not attaching credit to what I say, and it is only what I expected ; 
nevertheless, I swear that I have related facts to you. As surely as 
that we— I, Thorn, Afy, and Haliijohn — must one day meet together 
before our Maker, I ha\e told )(m the truth." 

The words were solemn, their tone earnest, and Mr. Carlylc re- 
mained silent, his thoughts full. 

"To what other end should I say this? "went on Richard. " It 
can do me no service : all the assertions I could put forth would not 
go a iot towards clearing me." 

" No, it would not," assented Mr. Carlyle. " If ever you are cleared, 
it must be by proofs. But — I will keep my thoughts on the matter, 
and should anything arise What sort of a man was this Thorn?" 

" In age he might have been three or four and twenty, tall and 
slender ; an out-and-out aristocrat." 

" And his connections ? Where did he live ? " 

" I never knew. Afy, in her boasting way, would say he had to come 
from Swainson — a ten-mile ride ! " 

"P'rom Swainson ! " quickly interrupted Mr. Carlyle. " Could it be 
one of the Thorns of Swainson ? " 

" None of the Thorns there that I know. He was a totally different 
man, with his perfumed hands, and his rings, and his dainty gloves. 
That he was an aristocrat I believe, but of bad taste and style, dis- 
playing a profusion of jewellery." 

A half smile flitted over Mr. Carlyle's face. " Was it real, Richard ? " 

" It was. He would wear diamond shirt-studs, diamond rings, dia- 
mond pins ; brilliants, all of the first water. My impression was, that 
he put them on to dazzle Afy. vShe told me once that she could be a 
grander lady, if she chose, than I could ever make her. A lady on the 
cross, I answered her, but ne\cr on the squrae. Thorn was not a man 
to entertain honest intentions towards one in the station of Afy Halii- 
john ; but girls arc as simple as geese." 

'* By your description it could not have been one of the Thorns of 
Swainson. Wealtiiy tradesmen, fathers of young families, short, stout, 
and heavy as Dutcluncn, staid and respectable. Very unlikely men, 
they, to run into an expedition of the sort." 

" What expedition ? " questioned Richard. " The murder ? " 

" The riding after Afy. Richard, where is Afy ?" 

Richard Hare lifted his face in surprise. " How should I know? I 
was just going to ask you." 

Mr. Cailyle paused. He thought Richard's answer an evasive one. 
'■ She disappeared immediately after the funeral ; and it was thought- - 
in short, Richard, the neighbourhood gave her credit for having gone 
after and joined you." 

" No ! did they ? what a pack of idiots ! I have never seen or heard 



40 EAST LYNNE. 

of her, Carlylc, since that unfortunate night. If she went after any one, 
it was after Thorn." 

" Was the man good-looking ? " 

" I suppose the world would call him so. Afy thought such an 
Adonis had never been coined, out of fable. He had shining black 
hair and whiskers, dark eyes and handsome features. But his vain 
dandyism spoilt him." 

Mr. Carlyle could ascertain no more particulars, and it was time 
Richard went in. They proceeded up the path. " What a blessing it 
is the servants' windows don't look this way," shivered Richard, tread- 
ing on Mr. Carlyle's heels. "If they should be looking out upstairs ! " 

His apprehensions were groundless, and he entered unseen. Mr. 
Carlyle's part was over. He left the poor banned exile to his short 
interview with his hysterical and tearful mother, Richard nearly as 
hysterical as she, and made the best of his way home again, pondering 
over what he had heard. 

Not a shadow of doubt had hitherto existed in his mind that George 
Hallijohn had met his death at the hands of Richard Hare. But, in 
defiance of the coroner's jury, and the universal opinion, he had never 
believed it to be wilful murder. Richard was mild, kind, inoffensiv-e, 
the last man to be guilty of cruelty, or to commit a deliberate crime ; 
and Mr. Carlyle had always thought that, could the truth be brought 
to light, the fatal shot would be found to have been the result of an 
accident, or, at worst, a scuffle, in which the gun might have gone off. 
It was rumoured that Hallijohn had objected to Richard's visits to his 
daughter, and it might have come, that night, to an outbreak. 

Who was this Thorn ? He certainly could not be a creation of 
Richard's inventive faculties. Still, it was strange that his name had 
never been mentioned ; that he and his visits were unknown to the 
neighbourhood. Was the fellow an aristocrat, as Richard had called 
him, shallow-pated and contemptible, with his shining hair and his 
bejewelled fingers, or was he a member of the swell mob ? And was 
he in truth the real author of the murder? Be it as it would, sufficient 
food had been supplied to call forth all Mr. Carlyle's acumen — and he 
possessed no slight share of it. 

The magistrates made a good evening of it, Mr. Carlyle entertaining 
them to supper. They took up their pipes for another whiff when the 
meal was over, but Miss Carlyle retired to bed : the smoke, to which 
she had not been accustomed since her father's death, had made her 
head ache and her eyes smart. About eleven they wished Mr. Carh'le 
good night, and departed, but Mr. Uill, in obedience to a nod from his 
superior, remained. 

" .Sit down again a moment, Dill ; I want to ask you a question. 
You are intimate with the Thorns of .Swainson : do they happen to have 
any relative, a nephew, or cousin perhaps, a dandy young fellow ? " 

" I went over last Sunday fortnight to spend the day with young 
Jacob," was the answer of Mr. Dill, one wider from the point than he 
generally gave. Mr. Carlyle smiled. 

" Youni^ ]-\(ioh ! He must be forty, 1 suppose." 

"About that. But you and I estimate age differently, Mr. Archi- 
bald. They have no nephew : the old man never had but those two 



RICHARD HARE, THE YOUNGER. 41 

children, Jacob and Edward. Neither have they any cousin. Rich 
men they are growing now : Jacob has set up his carriage." 

Mr. Carlylc mused, but he expected the answer, for neither had he 
heard of the brothers Thorn, tanners, curriers, and leather-dressers, 
possessing a relative of the name. "Dill," said he, "something has 
arisen which, in my mind, casts a doubt upon Richard Hare's guilt. 
I question whether he had anything to do with the murder." 

Mr. Dill opened his eyes. "But his flight, Mr. Archibald? And 
his remaining away .'' " 

" Suspicious circumstances, I grant : still, I have good cause to 
doubt. At the time it happened, some dandy fellow used to come 
courting Afy Hallijohn in secret : a tall, slender man, as he is described 
to me, bearing the name of Thorn, and living at Swainson. Could it 
have been one of the Thorn family ? " 

" Mr. Archibald ! " remonstrated the old clerk : " as if those two 
respectable gentlemen, with wives and babies, would come sneaking 
after that fly-away Afy ? " 

" No reflection on them," returned Mr. Carlyle. " This was a young 
man, three or four and twenty, a head taller than either, . I thought it 
might be a relative." 

" I have repeatedly heard them say that they are alone in the world ; 
the two last of the name. Depend upon it, it was no one connected 
with them. Who says any one came over after Afy, Mr. Archibald ? I 
never knew but of one doing so, and that was Richard Hare." 

Mr. Carlyle could not say, " Richard himself told me," so he left the 
question unanswered. " Sufficient grounds have been furnished me to 
cast a doubt upon Richard Hare's guilt, and to lay it upon this Thorn," 
he observed. " And I intend to institute a little private investigation, 
under the rose, and see if any fact can be brought to light. You must 
help me." 

" With all my heart," responded Mr. Dill. " Not that I believe it 
could have been any on:; cue Richard." 

" The next time you go co Swainson, try and discover whether a 
young fellow named Thorn (whether connected with the Thorns or 
not) was living there at the time. Good-:ookin", black hair, whiskers, 
and eyes, and given to deck himself out in diamond pins, studs, 
and rings. He has been called an aristocrat to me, but I think it 
equally hkely that he was a member of the swell mob, doing the fine 
gentleman — which they always overdo. See if you can ferret out 
anything." 

" I will," said Mr. Dill. And he wished Mr. Carlyle good night. 

The servant came in to remove the glasses and the obnoxious 
pipes, which latter Miss Carlyle had ordered to be consigned to ihe 
open air the instant they were done with. Mr. Carlyle sat in a brown 
study : presently he looked round at the man. 

" Is Joyce gone to bed ? " 

" No, sir. She's just going." 

" Send her here when you have taken away those things." 

Joyce came in, the upper servant at Miss Carlyle's. She was of 
middle height, and would never see five and thirty again ; her fore- 
head was broad, her grey eyes were deeply set, and her face was pale. 



43 EAST LYNNE. 

Altogether she was phaiii, but sensible-looking. She was the half- 
sister to Afy Hallijohn. 

" Shut the door, Joyce." 

Joyce did as she was bid, came forward and stood by the table. 

" Have you ever heard from your sister, Joyce? " began Mr. Carlylc, 
somewhat abruptly. 

" No, sir," was the reply. " I think it would be a wonder if I did 
hear." 

" Why so ? " 

" If she could go off after Richard Hare, who had sent her father 
into his grave, she would be more likely to hide herself and her 
doings, than to proclaim them to me, sir." 

" Who was that other, that fine gentleman, who came after her ? " 

The colour mantled in Joyce's cheeks, and she dropped her voice. 
" Sir ! did you hear of him ? " 

" Not at the time. Since. He came from Swainson, did he not ? " 

" I believe so, sir. Afy never would say much about him. We did 
not agree upon the point ; I said a person of his rank would do her no 
good ; and Afy flew out when I spoke against him." 

Mr. Carlyle caught her up, " His rank ! what was his rank?" 

" Afy bragged of his being next door to a lord ; and he looked like 
it. I only saw him once ; I had gone home early, and there he sat 
with y\.fy. His white hands were glittering with rings, and his shirt 
was finished off with shining stones, where the buttons ought to be." 

" Have you seen him since? " 

" Never since, never but that once, and I don't think I should know 
him if I did see him. He got up, sir, as soon as I went into the 
j)arlour, shook hands with Afy, and left. A fine upright man he was, 
nearly as tall as you, sir, but very thin ; those soldiers always do carry 
themselves well." 

"How do you know he was a soldier?" quickly rejoined Mr. 
Carlyle. 

" Afy told me so. ' The captain,' she had used to call him ; but she 
said he was not a captain vet awhile — the next grade below it. A — 
a » ■ 

"Lieutenant ?" suggested Mr. Carlyle. 

" Yes, sir, that was it ; Lieutenant Thorn. As he was going through 
tlic kitchen that evening he dropped his handkerchief, such a beauty, 
it was. I picked it up, but Afy snatched it from me, and running to 
tlie door, called after him, ' Captain Thorn, you have dropped your 
handkerchief,' and he turned, and took it from her. And when he 
was fairly off she began upon me for coming home and spoiling sport, 
and wc had a quarrel. I had seen young Hare also the same evening 
in the wood, dodging about as if waiting for the other to go. ' She'll 
come to no good between the two,' was my thought, and I said it to 
licr, and a fine passion it put her into. It was but a week afterwards 
that — the evil happened to poor father." 

"Joyce," said Air. Carlyle, "has it never struck you that Afy is 
more likely to have followed this Lieutenant Tliorn than Richard 
Hare?" 

" No, sir," answered Joyce. " I have felt certain always that she is 



MISS CARLYLE AT HOME. 43 

'.vith Richard Hare, and nothing can turn mc from the belief. All 
West Lynne is convinced of it." 

Mr. Carlylc did not attempt to "turn her from the belief." He dis- 
missed her, and sat on still revolving the case in all its bearings. 

Richard Hare's short interview with his mother had soon terminated. 
It lasted only a quarter of an hour, both dreading interruption from 
tlie ser\ants. And, with the hundred pounds in his pocket and desoLi- 
lion at his heart, the ill-fated young man once more quitted his child- 
hood's home. Mrs. Hare and Barbara watched him steal down the 
])alh in the tell-tale moonlight, and gain the road, both feeling that 
those farewell kisses they had pressed upon his lips would not be 
renewed for years, and might be never. 



CHAPTER Vn. 

MISS C.A.RLYLE AT HO.MK. 



Thi: church clocks of West Lynne struck eight one lovely morning in 
July, and then the bells chimed out, in token that it was Sunday. 
Simultaneously with the bells, Miss Carlylc burst out of her bedroom 
in one of her ordinary morning costumes, but not the one in which she 
was wont to be seen on a Sunday. She wore a buff gingham gown, 
reaching nearly to her ankles, and a lavender print " bedgown," which 
was tied round the waist with a cord and tassels, and ornamented 
below with a frill. It had been the morning costume of her mother in 
the old-fashioned days, and jNIiss Carlyle despised new fashions too 
much to discard it. Modern ladies might cavil at the style, but they 
could not do so at the quality and freshness of the materials, for in 
that Miss Carlyle was scrupulously particular. On Sunday mornings 
it was her custom to appear attired for the day, and her not doing so 
now proved that she must have some domestic work in prospect. Her 
headdress cannot be described ; it was like nothing in the fashion- 
book or out of it : some might have called it a turban, some a night- 
cap, and some might have thought it was taken from a model of the 
dunces Cap and bells in the parish school ; at any rate, it was some- 
thing very high, and expansive, and white, and stern and imposing. 

Miss Carlyle stepped across the corridor to a door opposite her own, 
and gave a thump at it, sufficiently loud to awaken the seven sleepers. 
" Get up, Archibald." 

*■ Up I " cried a drowsy voice within. " What for ? It's only eight 
o'clock." 

"If it's only six, you must get up," repeated Miss Carlyle, in her 
authoritative manner. " The breakfast is waiting, and I must have it 
over, for we are all at sixes and sevens." 

Miss Carlyle descended the stairs, and entered the breakfast-room, 
where all appeared in readiness for the meal. She had a sharp tongue 
on occasions, and a sharp eye always, which saw everything. The 
room looked on to the street, and the windows were up, their hand- 
some white curtains, spotless as Miss Carlyle's head-dress, waving 
gently in the summer breeze. Miss Carlyle's eyes peered round the 



44 EAST LYNNE. 

room, and caught sight of some dust. She strode into the kitchen to 
salute Joyce with the information. Joyce stood at the kitchen fire 
superintending the toasting of some bacon. 

" How dare you be so neghgent, Joyce? You have never dusted the 
breakfast-parlour." 

" Never dusted it ! " returned Joyce ; " where could your eyes have 
been, ma'am, to see that ? " 

" On the dust," repHed Miss Carlyle. " Go and put yours on it, and 
take the duster with you. I cannot sit down in an untidy room. Just 
because you have a little extra work to do this morning, you are turning 
lazy." 

" No, ma'am," retorted Joyce with spirit, for she felt the charge was 
unfounded : " I have exerted myself to the utmost this morning. I was 
up at five o'clock to get the double work comfortably over, that you 
might have no occasion to find fault, and I was as particular over the 
breakfast-parlour as I always am. You insist upon having the windows 
thrown up, and of course the dust will fly in." 

Joyce retreated with her duster just as a bell was heard to ring, and 
a respectable-looking serving-man, of middle height and portly fornij 
entered the kitchen. 

" Do you want anything, Peter ? " inquired Miss Carlyle. 

" Master's shaving water, ma'am. He has rung for it." 

" Master can' have it, then," was the retort of Miss Carlyle. " Go 
and say so. Tell him that the breakfast is waiting, and he must shave 
afterwards." 

Peter retired with the message, most probably softening it in the 
delivery, and Miss Carlyle presently returned to the breakfast-room 
and seated herself at the table to wait for her brother. 

Miss Carlyle the previous evening had embroiled herself in a dispute 
with her cook. The latter, who was of a fiery temper, retorted inso- 
lently, and her mistress gave her warning, for insolence from a servant 
she never put up with, and rarely indeed was it otTcred her. The girl, 
in her passion, said she did not want to wait for warning, she'd go at 
once : and off she went. Miss Carlyle pronounced the house well rid 
of her. Miss Carlyle was rigid upon one yjoint — that of having as little 
work done upon a Sunday as possible, and when the Sunday's dinner 
was of a nature that could be advanced on the Saturday, it had to be 
done : upon this rock had Miss Carlyle and the cook split. To add to 
the inconvenience, the housemaid was from home enjoying a holiday. 

Mr. Carlyle came into the breakfast-room completely dressed : he 
had an invincible dislike to appear otherwise, and he had shaved in 
cold water. " Why are we breakfasting at eight this morning ? " he 
inquired. 

" Because I have so much to do. And if I cannot get breakfast over 
early I shall never finish in time for church," was the reply of Miss 
Carlyle. " The cook's gone." 

" The cook gone ! " repeated Mr. Carlyle. 

" It all happened after you went out to spend the evening, and I did 
not sit up to tell you. We are to have ducks for dinner to-day, and she 
knew they had to be stuffed and prepared yesterday, the gravy made, 
and the giblet-pie made and baked ; in short, everything don?, except 



MISS CARLYLE AT HOME. 45 

the absolute roasting. I asked her last night if it was done. ' Oh yes, 
it was all done,' she said ; and I told her to bring me the giblet-pic to 
look at, knowing she has a knack of burning the crust of her pics. 
Well, she could not do so ; she had told me a falsehood, Archibald, 
and had no pie to bring, for the ducks were just as they came into the 
house ; she had idly put it all off until to-day, thinking I should never 
find her out; but my asking for the pie floored her. She was insolent, 
and what with that and the lie, I gave her warning, but she chose to 
leave last night. I have it all to do myself this morning." 

" Can't Joyce do it? " returned Mr. Carlyle. 

'' Joyce I Much she knows about cooking; Joyce's cooking won't 
do for mv table. Barbara Hare is going to spend the day here." 

"Indeed." 

" Barbara called last evening, full of trouble. She and the justice 
had been having a dispute, and she said she wished I would invite her 
for to-day. Barbara has been laying in a stock of finery ; the justice 
caught sight of it as it came home, and Barbara suffered. Serve her 
right, vain little minx. Just hark at the bells clashing out ! " 

Mr. Carlyle lifted his head. The bells of St. Jude's Church were 
ringing a merry peal as for a wedding, or any other festivity. " What 
can that be for ? " he exclaimed. 

"Archibald, you are not half as sharp as I was at your age. What 
should they be ringing for, but out of compliment to the arrival of Lord 
Mount Severn? " 

"Ay ; no doubt. The East Lynne pew is in St. Jude's Church." 

East Lynne had changed owners, and was now the property of Mr. 
Carlyle. He had bought it as it stood, furniture and all ; but the 
transfer had been conducted with secrecy, and was suspected by none. 
Whether Lord Mount Severn thought it might prevent any one from 
getting scent of the matter, or whether he wished to take farewell of a 
place he had formerly been fond of, certain it is that he desired to 
visit it for a week or two. Mr. Carlyle most readily and graciously 
acquiesced ; and the earl, his daughter, and retinue had arrived the 
previous day. 

West Lynne was in ecstasies. It called itself an aristocratic place, 
and indulged hopes that the earl might be intending to confer upon it 
permanently the light of his presence, by taking up his residence again 
at East Lynne. The toilets prepared to greet his admiring eyes were 
prodigious, and pretty Barbara Hare was not the only young lady who 
had thereby to encounter the paternal storm. 

Miss Carlyle completed her dinner preparations, all she did not 
choose to trust to Joyce, and was ready for church at the usual time, 
plainly but well dressed. As she and Archibald were leaving their 
house, they saw something looming up the streets, flashing and gleam- 
ing in the sun. A pink parasol came first, a pink bonnet and feather 
came behind it, a grey brocaded dress, and white gloves. 

"The little vain idiot ! " ejaculated Miss Carlyle. But Barbara sailed 
up the street towards them, unconscious of the apostrophe. 

" Well done, Barbara!" was the salutation of Miss Carlyle. "The 
justice might well exclaim ! You are finer than a sunbeam." 

" Not half so fine as many another in church will be to-day," re- 



46 EAST LYNNE. 

sponded Barbara, as she lifted her shy bhie eyes and blushing face to 
answer the greeting of Mr. Carlyle. " West Lynne seems bent on 
out-dressing the Lady Isabel. You should have been at the milliner's 
yesterday morning, Miss Carlyle.'' 

'• Is all the finery coming out to-day?" gravely inquired Mr. Carlyle, 
as Barbara turned with them towards the church and he walked by her 
side and his sister's, for he had an objection, almost as invincible as a 
Frenchman's, to giving his arm to two ladies. 

"Of course," replied Barbara. "The earl and his daughter will be 
coming to church." 

" Suppose she should not be in peacock's plumes?" cried Miss Carlyle, 
with an imperturbaljle face. 

'■ Oh, but she's sure to be — if you mean richly dressed," cried Bar- 
bara, hastily. 

■•Or, suppose they should not come to church?" laughed Mr. 
Carlyle. " What a disappointment to the bonnets and feathers ! " 

"After all, Barbara, what are they to us, or we to them?" resumed 
Miss Carlyle. " \Ve may never meet. We insignificant West Lynne 
gentry should not intrude ourselves upon East Lynne. It would scarcely 
be fitting to do so ; or be deemed so by the earl and Lady Isabel." 

" That's just what papa said," grumbled Barbara. "He caught sight 
of this bonnet yesterday, and, when by way of excuse, I said I had it 
to call on them, he asked whether I thought the obscure West Lynne 
families would venture to thrust their calls on Lord Mount Severn, as 
though they were of the county aristocracy. It was the feather put 
liim out." 

" It is a very long one," remarked Miss Carlyle, grimly surveying it. 

Ikirbara was to sit in the Carlyle pew that day, for she thought the 
father she was away from the justice the better : there was no knowing 
that he might not take a sly revengeful cut at the feather during the 
service, and so spoil its beauty. Scarcely were they seated, when some 
strangers came quietly up the aisle ; a gentleman who limped as he 
walked, with furrowed brow and grey hair ; and a young lady. Barbara 
looked round with eagerness, but looked away again ; they could not 
he the expected strangers, the young lady's dress was too plain for that. 
A clear muslin dress with small lilac sprigs upon it, and a straw bonnet : 
Miss Corny might have worn it herself on a week day, and not ha\e 
found herself too smart ; but it was a pleasant dress for a hot summer's 
day. But the old beadle, in his many-capcd coat, was walking before 
them sideways with his marshalling baton, and he marshalled them 
into the East Lynne pew, unoccupied for so many years. 

"Who in the world can thev be?" whispered I'arbara to Miss 
Carlyle. 

"The carl and Lady Isabel." 

The colour flushed into Barbara's face, and she stared at Miss 
Corny. " Why — she has no silks, and no feathers, and no anything ! " 
cried Barbara. ".She's more plainly dressed than any one in church I " 

" IMainer than any of the fine ones — than you, for instance. The 
carl is much altered, but I should have known them both anywhere. 
I should have known her from her likeness to her poor mother ; just 
the same eyes, and sweet expression." 



MISS CARLYLE AT HOME. 47 

Ay, those brown eyes, so full of sweetness and melancholy : few, 
who had once seen, could mistake or forget them, and Barbara Hare, 
forgetting where she was, looked at them much that day. " She is 
very lovely," thought Barbara, " and her dress is certainly that of a 
lady. I wish I had not had this streaming pink feather. What fine 
jackdaws she must think us all ! " 

The carl's carriage, an open barouche, was waiting at the gate at 
the conclusion of the service. He handed his daughter in, and was 
putting his gouty foot upon the step to follo\v her, when he observed 
Mr. Carlyle. The earl turned and held out his hand. A man who 
could purchase East Lynne was worthy of being recei\'ed as an equal, 
though he was but a country lawyer. 

Mr. Carlyle shook hands with the carl, apjMoached the carriage, and 
raised his hat to Lady Isabel. She bent forward with her pleasant 
smile, and put her hand into his. 

'• I have many things to say to you," said the earl. " I wish you 
would go home with us. If you have nothing better to do, be Ervst 
Lynne's guest for the remainder of the day." 

He smiled peculiarly as he spoke, and Mr. Carlyle echoed it. East 
Lynnc's guest ! that was what the earl was, at present. Mr. Carlyle 
turned aside to tell his sister. 

" Cornelia, I shall not be home to dinner ; I am going with Lord 
Mount Severn. Good day, Barbara." 

Mr. Carlyle stepped into the carriage, was followed by the earl, and it 
drove away. The sun shone still, but the day's brightness had gone 
out for Barbara Hare. 

" How does he know the earl so well ? How does he know Lady 
Isabel .•"' she reiterated in her astonishment. 

" Archibald knows something of most people," replied Miss Corny. 
" He saw the earl frequently when he was in town in the spring, and 
Lady Isabel once or twice. What a lovely face she has ! " 

Barbara made no reply. She returned with Miss Carlyle to the 
attraction of the ducks and the giblet-pic, but her manner was as 
a]:)scnt as her heart, and that had run away to East Lynne. 

" Oh, the refinement of courtly life, the unnecessary profusion of 
splendour ! " thought Mr. Carlyle, as he sat down to the earl's dinner- 
table that day. The display of silver, of glittering glass, of costly 
china ; the various wines and the rich viands, too varied and rich for 
the carl's gout ; the numerous servants in their handsome livery ; the 
table's pleasant master, and its refined young mistress ! In spite of 
the earl's terrible embarrassments, he had never yet curtailed the pomp 
of home expenditure : how he had maintained it was a marvel ; how 
long he would succeed in maintaining it was another. Very unneces- 
sary and unjustifiable was the splendour under the circumstances, 
but it had its attractions. Exceedingly great were the attractions that 
day, all things combined. Take care of your senses, Mr. Carlyle. 

Isabel left them after dinner, and sat alone, her thoughts running 
on many things. On her dear mother, with whom she was last at 
East Lynne, on the troublesome gout that would not quite leave her 
father, and on the scenes she had lately mixed in in London. She 
had met or'^ there so constantly that he had almost become dangerous 



48 EAST LYNNE. 

to her peace, ot would have done so, had she remaifled much longer. 
Even now, as she thought of him, a thrill quickened her veins. It was 
Francis Levison. Mrs. Vane had been guilty of worse than thought- 
lessness, in throwing them so frequently together. Mrs. Vane was a 
cold, selfish, and a bad woman ; bad, inasmuch as, except her own 
heartless self, she cared for no human being on the face of the wide 
earth. 

With a sigh, Isabel rose, and scattered her reflections to the winds. 
Her father and his guest did not appear to be in haste to come into 
tea, and she sat down to the piano. 

The carl was certainly not in haste ; he never was in haste to quit 
his wine ; every glass was little less than poison to him in his state 
of health, but he would not forego it. They were deep in conversati-on, 
when Mr. Carlylc, who was speaking, broke off in the middle of a 
sentence and listened. 

A strain of the sweetest music had arisen ; it seemed almost close 
to his ear, but he knew not whence it came ; a voice, low and clear 
and sweet, was accompanying it, and Mr. Carlyle held his breath. It 
was the Benedictus, sung to Mornington's chant. 

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel : for he hath visited and re- 
deemed his people. And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us ; 
in the house of his servant David." 

The conversation of the earl and Mr. Carlyle had been of the eager 
bustling world, of money getting and money spending, money owing 
and money paying, and that sacred chant broke in upon them with 
strange contrast, soothing the ear, but reproving the heart. 

" It is Isabel," explained the earl. " Her singing carries a singular 
charm with it ; and I think that charm lies in her subdued, quiet 
style : I hate squalling display. Her playing is the same. Are you 
fond of music ? " 

" I have been reproached by scientific performers with having neither 
ear nor taste for what they call good music," smiled Mr. Carlyle ; " but 
I like thatr 

" The instrument is placed against the wall, and the partition is 
thin," remarked the earl. " Isabel little thinks she is entertaining us, 
as well as herself" 

Indeed she did not. She sang chant after chant, now one psahn 
to them, now another. Then she sang the collect for the seventh 
.Sunday after Trinity, and then she went back again to the chants. 
And Mr. Carlylc sat on, drinking in that delightful music, and never 
heeding how the evening was running on into night. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MR. KANE'S CONCERT. 

r)i;iOKK Lord MoiuU Severn had completed the fortiliglU of liis 
])r()poscd stay, the gout came back seriously. It was impossible for 
liim to move away from East Lynne. Mr. Carlyle assured him he 
was only too pleased that he should remain as long as might be con- 



MR. KANE'S CONCERT. 49 

venicnt to him, and the carl expressed his acknowledgments ; he 
hoped soon to be rc-cstabhshcd on his legs. 

But he was not. The gout came and the gout went ; not positively 
laying him up in bed, but rendering him unable to leave his rooms : 
and this continued until October, when he grew much better. The 
county families had been neighbourly, calling on the invalid earl, and 
occasionally carrying off L.idy Isabel, but his chief and constant visitor 
had been Mr. Carlyle. The earl had grown to like him in no common 
degree, and was disappointed if Mr. Carlyle spent an evening away 
from him, so that he had become, as it were, quite domesticated with 
the earl and Isabel. " I am not equal to general society," he observed 
to his daughter, " and it is considerate and kind of Carlyle to come 
here and cheer my loneliness." 

" Extremely kind," said Isabel. " I like him very much, papa." 

" I don't know any one whom I like half as well," was the rejoinder 
of the earl. 

Mr. Carlyle went up as usual the same evening, and in the course of 
it the earl asked Isabel to sing. 

" I will if you wish, papa," was the reply, " but the piano is so much 
out of tunc that it is not pleasant to sing to it. Is there no one in 
West Lynne who could come here and tune my piano, Mr. Carlyle ? " 
she added, turning to him. 

" Certainly there is. Kane would do it. Shall I send him to-morrow ? " 

" I should be glad ; if it would not be giving you too much trouble. 
Not that tuning will very much improve it, old thing that it is. Were 
we to be much at East Lynne, I should ask papa to exchange it for 
a new one." 

Little thought Lady Isabel that that very piano was Mr. Carlyle's, 
and not hers. The earl coughed, and exchanged a smile and a glance 
with his guest. 

Mr. Kane was the organist of St. Jude's Church, a man of embarrass- 
ment and sorrow, who had long had a sore fight with the world. 
When he arrived at East Lynne the following day. Lady Isabel hap- 
pened to be playing, and she stood by and watched him begin his 
work. She was courteous and affable ; she was so to every one ; and 
the poor music-master took courage to speak of his own affairs, and to 
prefer an humble request — that she and Lord Mount Severn would 
patronize and personally attend a concert he was about to give the 
following week. A scarlet blush came into his thin cheeks as he con- 
fessed that he was very poor, could scarcely live, and that he was 
getting up this concert in his desperate need. If it succeeded — well : 
he could then go on again ; if not, he should be turned out of his home, 
and his furniture sold for the two years' rent he owed^and he had 
seven children. 

Isabel, all her sympathies awakened, sought the earl. " Oh, papa ! 
I have to ask you the greatest favour ! Will you grant it ? " 

" Ay, child, you don't ask them often. What is it ?" 

" I want you tc take me to a concert at West Lynne." 

The earl fell back in surprise and stared at Isabel. 

" A concert at West Lynne 1 " he laughed. " To hear rustics scraping 
the fiddle ! My dear Isabel 1 " 

Kast Lynne 4 



50 EAST LYNNE. 

She poured cut what she had just heard, with her own comments 
and additions. " Seven children, papa ! and if the concert docs not 
succeed he must give up his home, and turn out into the streets with 
them — it is, you see, ahiiost as a matter of hfe or death to him. He is 
very poor." 

" I am poor myself," said the earl. 

" I was so sorry for him when he was speaking. He kept turning 
red and white, and catching his breath in agitation ; it was painful to 
him to tell of his embarrassments. I am sure he is a gentleman." 

" Well, you may take a pound's worth of tickets, Isabel, and give 
them to the upper servants. A village concert I " 

" Oh, papa, it is not that ; can't you see it is not ? If you and I 
promise to be present, all the families round West Lynne will attend, 
and he will have the room full. They will go because we do ; he said 
so ; it they thought it was our servants who were going, they would 
keep away. Just think, papa, how you would like this furniture to be 
taken away from you ! and his ha\ing a full concert would stop it. 
Make a sacritice for once, dearest papa, and go, if it be only for an 
hour, /shall enjoy it, if it's nothing but a fiddle and a tambourine." 

" You gipsy .' you are as bad as a professional beggar There, go 
and tell the fellow we will look in for half an hour." 

She flew back to Mr. Kane, her eyes dancing. She spoke quietly, 
as she always did, but her own satisfaction gladdened her voice. 

" I am happy to tell you that papa has consented. He will take four 
tickets, and we will attend the concert." 

The tears rushed into Mr. Kane's eyes . Isabel was not sure they 
were not in her own. He was a tall, thin, delicate-looking man, with 
long white fingers and a long neck. He faltered forth his thanks, and 
an inquiry whether he might be allowed to state openly that they would 
be present-. 

" Tell every one," said she, eagerly — " every one you meet, if you 
think it will be the means of inducing people to attend. I shall tell all 
friends who call upon me, and ask theni to go." 

When Mr. Carlyle came up in the evening, the earl was temporarily 
absent from the room. Isabel began to speak of the concert. 

"It is a hazardous venture for Kane," observed Mr. Carlyle. " I 
fear he will only lose money, and add to his embarrassments." 

" Why dD yoa fear that ? " she asked. 

"Because, Lady Isabel, nothing gets patronized at West Lynne; 
nothing native ; and people have heard so long of poor Kane's neces- 
sities, that they think little of them. If some foreign artist, with an 
unpronounceab e name, came flashing down to give a concert, W'est 
Lynne would flock to it." 

" Is he so poor, so very i)oor ? " 

"Very. He is half starved." 

"Starved ! " repeated Isabel, an expression of perplexity arismg to 
her face, as she looked at Mr. Carlyle, for she scarcely understood him. 
"Do you mean that he docs not have enough to eat ? " 

" Of bread he may have, but not of much better nourishment. His 
salary, as organist, is thirty pounds, and he gels r. little stray teaching. 
But he has his wife ;ind children to keep, and no doubt serves them 



MR. KAN FAS CONCERT. 51 

before himself. I d.irc say he scarcely knows what it is to taste 
meat." 

The words brou^lu a bitter pang to Lady Isabel. Not enough to 
cat ! And she, in her carelessness, her ignorance, her indifference — 
she scarcely knew what term to give it — had not thought to order him 
a meal in their house of abundance ! He had walked from West 
Lynnc, occupied himself an hour with her piano, and set off to walk 
back again, battling with his hunger. A word from her, and a repast 
had been set before him, out of their superfluities, such as he never now 
sat down to ; and that word she had not spoken. 

''You are looking grave, Lady Isabel." 

" I am taking contrition to myself. Never mind ; it cannot now be 
helped ; but it will ahvajs be a dark spot on my memory." 

" What is it ? " 

She lifted her repentant face to his, and smiled. " Never mind, I 
s^y, Mr. Carlyle ; what is past cannot be recalled. He looks like a 
gentleman." 

"Who.'' Kane? A gentleman bred: his father was a clergyman. 
Kane's ruin was his love of music ; it prevented his setting to any 
better-paid profession ; his early marriage also was a drawback, and 
kept him down. He is young still." 

" Mr. Carlyle, I would not be one of your West Lynne people for the 
world. Here is a poor gentleman struggling with ad\ ersity, and you 
won't put your hands out to help him ! " 

He smiled at her warmth. '• Some of us will take tickets, I for one, 
but I don't know about attending the concert. I fear few will do that." 

" because that's just the thing that would serve him! If one went, 
another would go. Well, I shall try and show West Lynne that I don't 
take a lesson from their book ; I shall be there before it begins, and 
never come out till the last song is over, I am not too grand to go, if 
West Lynne is.'' 

" You surely Jo not think of going ! " 

'• I surely do think of it. And papa goes with me ; I persuaded him. 
And I hove given Mr. Kane our promise to do so." 

Mr. Carlyle paused. " I am glad to hear it ; it will be a perfect 
boon to Kane. If it once goes abroad that Lord Mount Severn and 
Lady Isabel intend to honour the concert, there won't be standing room 
in the place." 

She danced round with a little gleeful step. "What high and 
mighty personages Lord Mount Severn and Lady Isabel seem to be ! 
If you had any goodness of heart, Mr. Carlyle, you would enlist your- 
self in the cause also." 

" I think I will," he smiled. 

"Papa says you hold sway at West Lynne. If you proclaim that 
you mean to go, you will induce others to go also." 

" I will proclaim that you do," he answered. " That will be suffi- 
cient. But, Lady Isabel, you must not expect much gratification from 
the performances." 

" A tambourine will be quite enough for me ; I told papa so. I 
shan't think of the music; I shall think of poor Mr. Kane. Mr. 
Carlyle, I know you can be kind if you like ; I know you would rather 



§2 EAST LYNNE. 

be kind than otherwise ; it is to be read in your face ; trj^ and do what 
you can for him." 

" I will," he warmly answered. 

Mr. Carlyle sold many tickets the following day ; or rather, caused 
them to be sold. He praised the concert far and wide, and proclaimed 
that Lord Mount Severn and his daughter would not think of missing 
it. Mr. Kane's house was besieged for tickets, and when Mr. Carlyle 
went home to luncheon at midday, which he did not often do, he laid 
down two at Miss Corny's elbow. 

" What's this ? Concert tickets I Archibald, you have never gone 
and bought these ! " 

What would she have said had she known that the two were not the 
extent of his investment ? 

"Ten shillings to throw away upon two paltry bits of cardboard !" 
chafed M iss Carlyle. " You always were a noodle in money matters, 
Archibald, and always will be. I wish I had the keeping of your 
purse ! " 

" What I have given will not hurt me, Cornelia, and Kane is badly 
off. Think of his troop of children." 

" Oh dear," said Miss Corny ; " I imagine he should think of them ! 
That's always it : poor folks get a heap of children about them, and 
then ask for pity. 1 should say it would be more just if they asked for 
blame." 

" W^ell, there the tickets are, bought and paid for, so they may as 
well be used. You will go with me, Cornelia." 

" And stick ourselves there upon empty benches, like two geese, and 
sit staring and counting the candles ! A pleasant evening ! " 

" You need not fear empty benches. The Mount Severns are going, 
and West Lynne is racing after tickets. I suppose you have a — a — 
cap," looking at the nondescript article decorating his sister's head, 
" that will do to go in, Cornelia : if not, you had better order one." 

This suggestion put up Miss Carlyle. '' Hadn't you better have your 
hair curled, and your coat-tails lined with white satin.?" retorted she. 
"My gracious! a fine new cap to go to their mess of a concert in, 
after paying ten shillings for the tickets ! The world's coming to 
something." 

Mr. Carlyle left her and her grumbling to return to the office. Lord 
Mount Severn's carriage was passing at the moment, and Isabel Vane 
was within it. She caused it to stop when she saw Mr. Carlyle, and he 
advanced to her. 

" I have been to Mr. Kane's myself for the tickets," said she, with a 
beaming look ; " I came into West Lynne on purpose. I told the 
coachman to find out where he lived, and he did so. 1 thought if the 
people saw mc and the carriage there, they would guess what I wanted. 
I do hope he will have a full concert." 

" I am sure he will," replied Mr. Carlyle, as he released her hand. 
And Lady Isabel signed the carriage to drive on. 

As Mr. Carlyle turned awa}', he met Otway Bethel, a nephew of 
Colonel Bethel's, who was tolerated m the colonel's house because he 
had no other home, and appeared incapable of making himself one. 
Some persons persisted in calling hini a gentleman — as he was by 



MR. KANE'S CONCERT. §3 

birth — others called him a maiivaii, ntjct. The two al'G united some- 
times. He was dressed in a velveteen suit, and had a gun in his hand ; 
indeed, he was rarely seen without a gun, being inordinately fond of 
sport. But, if all tales whispered were true, he supplied himself with 
game in other ways than by shooting, which had the credit of going up 
to London dealers. For the last six months, or near it, he had been 
away from West Lynne. 

"Why, where have you been hiding yourself?" exclaimed Mr. 
Carlyle. " The colonel has been inconsolable." 

" Come, no gammon, Carlyle. I have been on the tramp through 
France and Germany. Man likes a change sometimes. As to the 
revered colonel, he would not be inconsolable if he saw me nailed up 
in a six-foot box, and carried out feet foremost." 

'• Ik-thcl, I have a question to ask you," continued Mr. Carlyle, 
dropping his light manner and his voice together. " Take your 
thoughts back to the night of Hallijohn's murder." 

'• I wish you may get it! " cried Mr. Bethel. "The reminiscence is 
not attractive." 

" You'll do it," quietly said Mr. Carlyle. " It has been told to me, 
though it did not appear at the inquest, that Richard Hare held a con- 
versation with you in the wood, a few minutes after the deed was done. 
Now — " 

" Who told you that ? " interrupted Bethel. 

"That is not the question. My authority is indisputable." 

" It is quite true. I said nothing about it, for I did not want to make 
the case worse against Dick Hare than it already was. He certainly 
did accost me, as a man flurried out of his life." 

" Asking if you had seen a certain lover of Afy's fly from the cottage. 
One Thorn." 

" That was the purport. Thorn ? Thorn ? — I think Thorn was the 
name he mentioned. My opinion was, that Dick was either wild, or 
acting a part." 

" Now, Bethel, I want you to answer me truly. The question cannot 
affect you either way, but I must know whether you did see this Thorn 
leave the cottage." 

Bethel shook his head. " I know nothing whatever about any Thorn, 
and I saw no one but Dick Hare. Not but that a dozen Thorns might 
have run from the cottage without my seeing them." 

" You heard this shot fired ? " 

"Yes; but I never gave a thought to mischief. I knew Locksley 
was in the wood, and supposed it came from him. I ran across the 
path, bearing towards the cottage, and struck into the wood on the 
other side. By-and-by, Dick Hare pitched upon me, as one startled 
out of his senses, and asked if I had seen Thorn leave the cottage. 
Thorn — that 7uas the name." 

" And you had not ? " 

" I had seen no one but Dick, excepting Locksley. My impression 
was that no one else was about ; I think so still." 

" But Richard— " 

" Now look you here, Carlyle, I won't do Dick Hare an injury, even by 
a single word, if I can help it. And it is of no use setting me on to it." 



54 EAST LVNNE. 

" I should be the last to set you on to injure any one, especially 
Richard Hare," rejoined Mr. Carlyle, " and my motive is to do Richard 
good, not harm. I hold a suspicion, no matter whence gathered, that 
it was not Richard Hare who committed the murder, but another. 
Can you throw any light upon the subject ? " 

*' No,- 1 can't. I have always thought poor wavering Dick was no 
one's enemy but his own : but as to throwing any light upon that 
night's work, I can't do it. Cords should not have dragged me to the 
inquest to give evidence against Dick, and for that reason I was glad 
Locksley never let out that I was on the spot. How the deuce it got 
about afterwards, I can't tell ; but that was no matter ; ;;// evidence 
did not help on the verdict. And, talking of that, Carlyle, how has it 
come to your knowledge that Richard Hare accosted me? I have not 
opened my lips upon it to mortal man." 

" It is of no consequence how," repeated Mr. Carlyle ; " I do know 
it, and that is sufficient. I was in hopes you had really seen this Thorn 
leave the cottage." 

Otway Bethel shook his head. " I should not lay too much stress 
upon any ,' Thorns ' having been there, were I you, Carlyle. Dick 
pi are was as one crazy that night, and might see shapes and forms 
where none existed." 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE BATS AT THE WINDOW. 



The concert was to take place on a Thursday, and on the following 
.Saturday Lord Mount Severn intended finally to quit East Lynne. 
Preparations for departure were in progress, but when Thursday 
morning dawned, it appeared a question whether they would not once 
more be rendered nugatory. The house was roused betimes, and Mr. 
Wainwright, the surgeon from West Lynne, was summoned to the 
earl's bedside : he had experienced another and a violent attack. The 
peer was exceedingly annoyed and vexed, and very irritable. 

" I may be kept here a week— a fortnight — a month longer now ! " 
he uttered fretfully to Isabel. 

" I am very sorry, papa. I dare say you do find East Lynne dull." 

" Dull ! that's not it : I have other reasons for wishing East Lynne 
to be quit of us. And now you can't go to this fine concert." 

Isabel's face flushed. " Not go, papa.'' " 

" Why, who is to take you ? I can't got out of bed. 

" Oh, papa, I must be there. Otherwise it would look almost as 
though — as though we had announced what we did not mean to per- 
form. You know it was arranged tliat we should join tlie Ducies : the 
carriage can still take me to tlie concert-room, and 1 can go in with 
them." 

"Just as you please. I thought you would have jumped at any plea 
for staying away." 

" Not at all,' laughed Isabel. " I should like West Lynne to see' that 
I don't despise ':.\v. Kane and his concert." 



n 



THE BATS AT TliK WINDOW. 55 

Later in the day, the earl grew alarmini>ly worse : his paroxysms of 
pain were awful. Isabel, who was kept from the room, knew nothing 
of the danger, and the earl's groans did not penetrate to her ears. She 
dressed in a happy mood, full of biughing wilfulness, Marvel, her 
maid, sujierintending in stiff displeasure, for the attire chosen did not 
meet with her approbation. When ready, she went into the earl's 
room. 

" .Shall I do, papa ? " 

Lord Mount Severn raised his swollen eyelids and drew the clothes 
from his flushed face. A vision was standing before him, a beauteous 
(jueen, a gleaming fairy ; he hardly knew what she looked like. She 
had put on a white lace dress and her diamonds ; the dress was rich, 
and the jewels tlashcd from her hair, from her pretty neck, from her 
delicate arms ; and her cheeks were flushed and her curls were flowing. 

The earl stared at her in amazement. " How could you dress your- 
self like that for a concert .-' You are out of your senses, Isabel." 

" Marvel thinks so too," was the gay answer ; " she has had a cross 
fice since I told her what to put out. But I did it on purpose, papa ; 
I thought I would show those West Lynne people that / think the 
poor man's concert worth going to, and worth dressing for." 

•* You will have the whole room staring at you." 

" I don't mind. I'll bring you word all about it. Let them stare." 

" You vain child ! You have dressed yourself to please your vanity. 
But, Isabel, you — ooooooh ! " 

Isabel started as she stood • the earl's groan was terrible. 

''An awful twinge, child. There, go along ; talking makes me 
worse." 

" Papa, shall I stay at home with you ? " she gravely asked. " Every 
consideration should give way to illness. If you would like me to 
remain, or if I can do any good, pray let me." 

•' Quite the contrary ; I had rather you were away. You can do no 
earthly good, for I could not have you in the room. Good-bye, 
darling. If you see Carlyle, tell him I shall hope to see him to- 
morrow." 

Marvel threw a maiul';; over her shoulders, and she went down to 
the carriage, which waited. 

The concert v.ms held in the noted justice-room, over the market- 
place, called by courtesy the town-hall. It was large, and excellent for 
sound ; many a town of far greater importance cannot boast so good 
a music-room. In the way of performers, Mr. Kane had done his 
poor best ; a lady, quite fourth rate, had been engaged from London, 
and the rest were local artistes. 

Barbara Hare would not ha\-e missed the concert for the world, but 
Mrs. Hare had neither health nor spirits for it. It was arranged that 
the justice and Barbara should accompany the Carlyles, and they pro- 
ceeded to Miss Carlyle's in time for coffee. Something was said about 
a fly, but ]\liss Carlyle negatived it, asking what had come to their 
legs : it was a fine night, and the distance was very short. Barbara 
had no objection to the walk with Mr. Carlyle. 

" How is it that we see so little of you now?" she began, as they 
went along, Mr. Justice Hare and Miss Carlyle preceding them. 



56 EAST LYNNE. 

" I have been so much engaged at East Lynne : the earl finds his 
evenings dull. They go on Saturday, and my time will be my own 
again." 

*' You were expected at the parsonage last night ; we were looking 
out for you all the evening." 

" Not expected by Mr. and Mrs. Little, I ihink. I told them I was 
engaged to dine at East Lynne." 

•• They were saying — some of them — that you might as well take up 
your abode at East Lynne, and wondered what your attraction could 
be. They said " — Barbara compelled her voice to calmness — " that if 
Isabel Vane were not the Lady Isabel, they should think you went 
there for her sake." 

" I am much obliged at their interesting themselves so much about 
me," equably returned I\Ir. Carlyle. " More so than Lady Isabel Vane 
would probably be. I am surprised that you should retail such non- 
sense, I3arbara." 

" They said it ; I did not," answered Barbara, with a swelling heart. 
"Is it true that Lady Isabel sings so well.'' They were making out 
that her singing is divine." 

" You had better not lot Cornelia hear you say that, or you will have 
a reproof," laughed Mr. Carlyle. "As I did, when I said she had an 
angel's face." 

liarbara turned her own face full upon him : it looked pale in the 
gaslight. " Did you say she had an angel's face.'' Do you think it 
one ? " 

" I really believe I did say so, but I can't be quite sure ; Cornelia 
snapped me up so quickly," he answered, laughing. " Barbara," he 
added, dropping his voice, " we have still not heard from Richard." 

" No. You and mamma both think we shall hear ; I say not. for I 
feel sure he will be afraid to write. I know he promised, but I have 
never thought he would perform." 

"There would be no risk in sending the letters under cover to me, 
and it would be a relief and a comfort to Mrs. Hare." 

" You know how timorous Richard is. ■ )tway Bethel is home 
again," she continued. " You said you should question him when he 
leUirncd, Archibald." 

" I have done so, but he appears to know nothing. He seems well 
disposed towards Richard, but casts doubt on the assertion that Thorn, 
or any stranger, was in the wood that night." 

"it is very strange what Thorn it could have been." 

" Very," assented Mr. Carlyle. " I can make out nothing from 
.Swainson. No person whatever, answering the description and named 
Thorn, was living there at the time, so far as I am able to ascertain. 
All we can do is to wait, and hope that time may bring elucidation 
with it." 

They reached the town-hall as he spoke. A busy crowd was 
gathered round the entrance ; people going in to attend the concert, 
and the mob watching them. Drawn up at a short distance, so as not 
to obstruct other vehicles, was the aristocratic carriage of Lord Mount 
Severn ; the coachman sat on his hammercloth, and two powdered 
footmcn waited with il. 



THE BATS AT THE WINDOW. 57 

'• Lady Isabel Vane is sitting there," exclaimed Barbara as she 
passed. 

Mr. Carlyle felt surprised. What could she be waitinj^ for? where 
could the earl be ? A doubt came over him, he could not dctinc uhy, 
that something was wrong. 

*' Will you pardon me if 1 quit you for one moment, Barbara, whilst 
I speak to Lady Isabel ?" 

He waited for neither accpiiescence nor dissent, but left Barbara 
standing where slie was, and accosted Isabel. The diamonds gleamed 
in her hair, as she bent towards him. 

" I am waiting for Mrs. Ducie, Mr. Carlyle. I did not like to remain 
all alone in the ante-room, so I stayed here. When Mrs. Ducie's 
carriage comes up, I shall get out. I am going in with her, you 
know." 

" And the earl 1 " 

" Oh, have you not heard ? Papa is ill again." 

" 111 again ?" repeated Mr. Carlyle. 

"Very ill indeed. Mr. Wainwright was sent for at five o'clock this 
morning, and has been with him a good deal of the day. P<ipa bade 
me say that he hoped to see you to-morrow." 

Mr. Carlyle rejoined Barbara : they entered the hall and began to 
ascend the stairs, just as another aristocratic equipage dashed up, to 
scatter and gratify the mob. Barbara turned her head to look : it was 
that of the Honourable Mrs. Ducie. 

'J"he room was pretty full then, and Mrs. Ducie, her two daughters, 
and Isabel were conducted to scats by Mr. Kane — seats he had reserved 
for them at the upper end, near the orchestra. The same dazzling 
vision which had burst on the sight of Lord Mount Severn fell on that 
of the audience, in Isabel, with her rich white dress, her glittering 
diamonds, her flowing curls, and her wondrous beauty. The Miss 
Ducies, plain girls, in brown silks, turned up their noses more than 
nature had done it for them, and Mrs. Ducie heaved an audible sigh. 
" The poor motherless girl is to be pitied, my dears," she whispered ; 
" she has no one to point out to her suitable attire : this ridiculous 
decking out must have been Marvel's idea." 

But she looked as a lily amidst poppies and sun-flowers, whether the 
"decking out" was ridiculous or not. Was Lord Mount Severn right, 
when he accused her of so dressing in self-gratification? Very likely : 
for, has not the great preacher said, that chiltlhood and youth are 
vanity ? 

Miss Carlyle, the justice, and Barbara also had seats near the 
orchestra, for Miss Carlyle in West Lynne was a person to be con- 
sidered, and not to be hidden behind others. Mr. Carlyle, however, 
preferred to join the gentlemen who congregated and stood round 
about the door, inside and out. There was scarcely standing room in 
the place : Mr. Kane had, as was anticipated, a bumper, and the poor 
man could have worshipped Lady Isabel, for he knew he owed it to her. 

It was very long : country concerts generally are so : and was about 
three parts over when a powdered head, larger than any cauliflower 
ever grown, was discerned ascending the stairs behind the group of 
gentlemen : which head, when it brought its body into full view, was 



58 EAST LYNNE. 

discovered to belong to one of the footmen of Lord Mount Severn. 
The calves alone, cased in their silk stockings, were a sight to be seen ; 
and these calves betook themselves inside the concert-room, with a 
deprecatory bow for permission to the gentlemen they had to steer 
through, and there they came to a standstill, the cauliflower turning 
itself about from right to left. 

"Well, I'll be jittied !" cried an astonished old foxhunter, who had 
been elbowed by the footman. " The cheek these fellows have I " 

The fellow in question did not appear, however, to be enjoying any 
great amount of cheek just then, for he looked perplexed, humbled, "and 
uneasy. Suddenly his eye fell on Mr. Carlyle, and it lighted up. 

'' Beg pardon, sir : could you happen to inform me whereabouts my 
young lady is sitting ? " 

" At the other end of the room, near the orchestra." 

" I am sure I don't know how ever I am to get to her, then," returned 
the man, more in self-soliloquy, than to Mr. Carlyle. " The room's 
full, and I don't like crushing by. My lord is taken alarmingly worse, 
sir," he explained in an awe-struck tone : " it is feared he is dying." 

Mr. Carlyle was painfully startleiL 

" His screams are awful, sir. Mr. Vv''ainwright and another doctor 
from West Lynne are with him, and an express has gone to Lynne- 
borough for physicians. Mrs. Mason said we were to fetch my young 
lady home, and not lose a moment ; and we brought the carriage, sir, 
Wells galloping his horses all the way."' 

" I will bring Lady Isabel," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" I'm sure, sir, I should be under everlasting obligation if you would," 
returned the man. 

Mr. Carlyle worked his way through the crowded room. He was tall 
and slender. Many looked daggers at him, for a pathetic song was just 
then being given by a London lady. He disregarded all, and stood 
before Isabel. 

" I thought you were not coming to speak to me to-night. Is it nt)t 
a famous room ? I am so pleased." 

"More than famous, Lady Isabel. But," continued he gravely, 
" Lord Mount Severn docs not find himself so well, and he has sent 
the carriage for you." 

" Papa not so well ! " she quickly exclaimed. 

" Not quite. At any rate, he wishes you to go home. Will you 
allow mc to pilot you through the room ? " 

" Oh, my dear, considerate papa ! " she laughed. " He fears I shall 
be wearied, and would emancipate me before the time. Thank you, 
Mr. Carlyle, but 1 will wait until the end." 

" No, no, Lady Isabel, it is not that. Lord Mount Severn is indeed 
worse." 

Her countenance changed to seriousness ; but she was not alarmed. 
" Very well. When this song is over ; not to disturb the room." 

" I think you had better lose no time," he urged. " Never mind the 
song and the room." 

She rose instantly, and put her arm within Mr. Carlyle's. A hasty 
word of explanation to Mrs. Ducie, and he led her away, the room, in 
its surprise, making for them what space it might. Many an eye fol- 



THE BATS AT THK \V1N1K)\V. 59 

lowed them, but none more curiously and eagerly than Barbara Hare's. 
"Where is he going to take her?" involuntarily uttered Barbara. 

'' How should 1 know?" retorted Miss Corny. " Barbara, you have 
(lone nothing but tidget all the evening : what's the matter with you ? 
I'olks come to a concert to listen, not to talk and fidget." 

Isabel's mantle was procured from the ante-room, where it had been 
left, and she descended the stairs with Mr. Carlylc. The carriage 
was drawn up close to the entrance, and the coachman had his reins 
gathered ready to start. The footman, not the one who had gone 
upstairs, threw open the chariot door as soon as he saw her. He was 
new in the service ; a simple country native, just engaged. She w ith- 
drew her arm from Mr. Carlylc's, and stood a moment before stepping 
in, looking at the man. 

•' Is papa much worse?" 

'" Oh yes, my lady : he was screaming shocking. But they think 
he'll live till morning." 

With a sharp cry, she seized the arm of Mr. Carlyle, seized it for 
support in her shock of agony. Mr. Carlyle rudely thrust the man 
away : he could willingly have flung him at full length on to the 
pavement. 

"Oh, Mr. Carlyle, why did you not tell me?" she shivered. 

" My dear Lady Isabel, I am grieved that you are told now. But, 
take comfort : you know how ill he frequently is, and this may be only 
an ordinary attack. Step in. I trust we shall find it nothing more." 

" Are you going home with me ? " 

" Certainly. I shall not leave you to go alone." 

She moved to the other side of the chariot, making room for him. 

" Thank you : I will sit outside." 

" But the night is cold.'' 

" Oh no." He closed the door, and took his seat by the coachman : 
the footmen got up behind, and the carriage sped away. Isabel 
gathered herself into her corner, and moaned aloud in her suspense 
and helplessness. 

" Uo not spare your horses," said Mr. Carlyle to Wells. " Lady 
Isabel will be ill with anxiety." 

" She'll be worse before morning, poor child," returned the coach- 
man. " I have lived in the service fifteen year, sir, and have watched 
her grow up from a little thing," he hastened to add, as if in apology 
fi)r his familiarity. 

"Is the earl really in danger? " 

"Ay, sir, that he is. I have seen two cases in my life of gout in 
tlie stomach, and a few hours closed both. I heard a word dropped, 
as I came out, that Mr. Wainwright thought it was going on to the 
heart." 

" The earl's former attacks have been alarming and painful," re- 
marked Mr. Carlyle, clinging to hope. 

" Yes, sir, I know ; but this bout is different. Besides," resumed 
Wells, in a confidential tone, " those bats didn't come for nothing." 
, " Bats ! I' uttered Mr. Carlyle. 

' " .And it's a sure sign, sir, that death is on its road to the house, safe 
and speedy." 



6o EAST LYNNE. 

" Wells, what are you talking about ? " 

" The bats have been round the house this evening, Sir. Nasty 
things I I hate 'em at all times." 

'' Bats are fond of flying about at night-time," remarked Mr. Carlyle, 
glancing aside at the steady old coachman, with a half suspicion that 
he might not have been keeping himself quite so steady as usual. " It 
is their nature to do so." 

'* But they don't come in shoals, sir, round about you, and in at the 
windows. To-night, when we got back, after leaving my young lady 
at the concert, I told Joe just to take out the horses and leave the 
carriage outside, as it would be required again, I went indoors, and 
there they told me that Mrs. Mason wanted me, and I was to go up to 
the library to her. She was sitting there, sir, you see, to be close at 
hand, if anything was needed in my lord's room. So I wiped my shoes, 
and up to the library I went, and knocked at the door, ' Come in,' 
she called out, and in I walked, and there she was by herself, standing 
at the open window. ' You are airy to-night, ma'am,' says I ; ' it's 
hardly weather for open windows : ' for, as you see, sir, it's quite a 
frost.'"' 

Mr. Carlyle glanced down at the road and the hedges. 

"'Come in. Wells,' Mrs. Mason called out, sharply, 'come and 
look here.' I went and stood by her side, sir, and I never saw such a 
sight in my life. The bats were flying about in scores, in hundreds, 
a cloud of them, diving down at the window, and flapping their wings. 
Right inside they came, and would have touched our faces, only we 
drew back. Where on earth they had come from I can't think, for I 
had not been indoors a minute, and there was not one about outside, 
that I had seen. 'What does all this mean. Wells.'" cried Mrs, 
Mason, 'the bats must have turned wild to-night, I opened the 
window to look at them, for they quite startled me. Did you ever see 
them so thick?' ' No, ma'am, nor so near,' I answered her, 'And 
I don't like to see them, for it betokens no good : it's a sign,' Well, 
sir, with that she burst out laughing," continued Wells, " for she's one 
of those who ridicule signs and dreams, and the like. She is an 
educated woman, perhaps you know, sir, and, years ago, was nursery 
governess to Lady Isabel ; and those educated people are mighty hard 
of belief." 

Mr. Carlyle nodded. 

'' ' Wliat is it a sign of, Wells ? ' Mrs. Mason went on to me, in a 
jesting sort of way. 'Mrs. Mason, ma'am,' said I, 'I can't say that 
I ever saw the bats clanned together and making their visit, like this ; 
but I have heard, times out of numl^er, that they have been known to 
do it, and that it is a sure sign death is at the very door of the house.' 
' I hope death is not at the door of this house,' sighed Mrs. Mason, 
tliinking, no doubt, of my lord, and she closed the window as she 
spoke, and the nasty things beat against it with their wings, Mrs, 
M.ison tlien s[)oke to me of the business she had wanted me upon ; she 
was talking to me three minutes, perhaps, and when she had finished, 
I turned to look at the window again. ]5ut there was not a single bat 
there ; they had all gone, all disappeared in that little space of time. 
' Wliat has become of them?' cried Mrs. Mason ; and I opened the 



THE BATS AT THE WINDOW. 6l 

window, and looked up and down, but they were clean gone, and the 
air and the sky were as clear as they are at this moment." 

" Gone to flap at somebody else's window, perhaps," remarked Mr. 
Carlyle, with a very disbelieving smile. 

" Not long after that, sir, the house was in commotion. My lord was 
in mortal agony, and Mr. Wainwright said (so the word ran in the 
scrvants'-hall) that the gout had reached the stomach, and might be 
rushing on to the heart. Denis went galloping off to Lynneborough 
for physicians, and we put to the horses and came tearing off for my 
young lady." 

" Well," observed Mr. Carlyle, " I hope he will recover the attack, 
Wells, in spite of the gout and the bats." 

The coachman shook his head, and turning his horses sharply round, 
whipped them up through tlic lodge gates. 

The housekeeper, Mrs. Mason, waited at the hall door to receive 
Lady Isabel. Mr. Carlyle helped her out of the carriage, and gave her 
his arm up the steps. She scarcely dared to inquire. 

" Is he better ? May I go to his room ? " she panted. 

Yes, the earl was better ; better, in so far as that he was quiet and 
senseless. She moved hastily towards the chamber. Mr. Carlyle drew 
the housekeeper aside. 

*' Is there any hope ?" 

" Not the slightest, sir. He is dying." 

The earl knew no one : pain had gone for the present, and he lay on 
his bed, calm ; but his face, which had death in it all too plainly, 
startled Isabel. She did not scream or cry; she was perfectly quiet, 
save that she had a fit of shivering. "Will he soon be better.?" she 
whispered to Mr. Wainwright, who stood there. 

The surgeon coug:hed. " Well, he— he — we must hope it, my lady." 

"But why does his face look like that.? It is pale — grey : I never 
saw any one else look so." 

" He has been in great pain, my lady ; and pain leaves its traces on 
the countenance." 

Mr. Carlyle, who had come in, and was standing by the surgeon, 
touched his arm to draw him from the room. He noticed the look on 
the carl's face, and did not like it ; he wished to question the surgeon. 
Lady Isabel saw that Mr. Carlyle was about to quit the room, and 
beckoned to him. 

" Do not leave the house, Mr. Carlyle. When he wakes up, it may 
cheer him to see you here ; he liked you very much." 

" I will not leave it, Lady Isabel. I did not think of doing so." 

In time—it seemed an age— the medical men arrived from Lynne- 
borough ; three of them : the groom had thought he could not summon 
too many. It was a strange scene they entered upon : the ghastly 
peer, growing restless again now, battling with his departing spirit ; 
and the gala robes, the sparkling gems adorning the young girl watch- 
ing at his side. They comprehended the case without difficulty ; she 
had been suddenly called from some scene of gaiety. 

They stooped to look at the earl, and felt his pulse, and touched his 
heart, and e.\changed a few murmured words v.-ith Mr. Wainwright. 
Isabel had stood back to give them place, but her anxious eyes 



62 EAST LYNNE. 

followed their every movement. They did not seem to notice her, and 
she stepped forward. 

" Can you do anything for him ? Will he recover? " 

They all turned at the address, and looked at her. One spoke : it 
was an evasive answer. 

" Tell me the truth," she implored, with feverish impatience ; " you 
must not trifle with me. Do you not know me? I am his only child, 
and I am here alone." 

The first thing was to get her away from the room, for the great 
change was approaching, and the parting struggle between the body 
and the spirit might be one of warfare ; no sight for her. But. in 
answer to their suggestions that she should go. she only leaned her 
head upon the pillow by her father, and moaned in despair. 

" She must be got out of the room," cried one of the physicians, 
almost angrily. " Ma'am " — turning suddenly upon Mrs. Mason — " are 
there no relatives in the house, no one who can exert mfluence over 
the young lady? " 

" She has scarcely any relatives in the world," replied the house- 
keeper ; " no near ones. And we happen to be, just now, quite alone." 

But Mr. Carlyle, seemg the urgency of the case, for the earl with 
every minute grew more excited, approached and whispered to her. 
" You are as anxious as we can be for your father's recovery." 

" As anxious ! " she uttered reproachfully. 

" You know what I would impl)'. Of course our anxiety can be as 
nothing to yours." 

" As nothing ; as 7:ci]ii>tg. I think my heart will break." 

" Then — forgive me — you should not oppose the wishes of his medi- 
cal attendants. They wish to be alone with him ; and time is being 
lost." 

She rose up ; she placed her hands on her brow as if to collect the 
sense of the words ; and then she addressed the doctors. 

" Is it really necessary that I should leave the room ; necessary yj^r 
him?'' 

" It is necessary, my lady ; absolutely essential." 

She quitted the room without another word, and turned into the 
library, an apartment in the same wing, where the bats had paid their 
visits earlier in the evening. A large tire burnt in the grate, and she 
walked up to it, and leaned her hand and forehead on the mantelpiece. 

" Mr. Carlyle," she said, without raising it. 

" I am here," he answered, for he had followed her in. '"What can 
I do for you ? " 

" I have come away, you see. Until I may go in again will you 
bring me word how he is — continually ? " 

" Inched I will." 

As he qu-';ted the room. Marvel sailed into it, a very fine lady's- 
maid. " Would my lady change her dress ?" 

No, my lady would not. '• They might be calling me to papa at the 
moment the dress was off." 

" But so very unsuitable, my lady— that rich dress for a night-scene 
such as this." 

" Unsuitable ! What does it signify ? Who thinks of my dress ? " 



THE BATS AT THE WIN' DOW. 63 

But, by-and-by, Mrs. Mason quiLlly took otf the diamonds, and 
threw a warm shawl over her neck and arms, for she was shivering still. 

Some of the medical men left ; Mr. Wainwright remained. Nothing 
more could be done for Lord Mount Severn in this world, and tlie 
death scene was prolonged and terrible. He was awake to pain again 
of son^c sort ; whether of mind or body they could not say. Pain ! 
mortal, shrieking, writhing agony. Is it, or is it not the case, that a 
badly-spent life entails one of these awful death-beds ? 

\'ery rebellious, very excited grew Isabel towards morning. Mr. 
Carlyle had brought her perpetual tidings from the sick-room, soften- 
ing down the actual facts. She could not understand that she need be 
kept away from it, and she almost had a battle with Mr. Carlyle. 

'' It is cruel so to treat me," she exclaimed, pride alone enabling her 
to suppress her sobs. " Pent up here, the night has seemed to me as 
long as ten. When your father was dying, were you kept away from 
him ? " 

" My dear young lady— a hardy, callous m;jn may go where you 
may not." 

'• You are not hardy and callous." 

" I spoke of nian's general nature." 

" I shall act upon my own responsibility. I am obliged by all your 
kindness, Mr. Carlyle," she hastily added, " but you really have no 
right to kee^j me from my father. And I shall go to him." 

Mr. Carlyle placed himself before her, his back against the door. 
His grave, kind face looked into hers with the deepest sympathy and 
tenderness. " Forgive me, dear Lady Isabel ; I cannot let you go." 

She broke into a passion of tears and sobs as he led her back to the 
fue, and stood there with her. 

'* He is my dear father, I have only him in the wide world." 

" I know ; I know ; I feel for you all that you are feeling. Twenty 
times this night I have wished, forgi\e me the thought, that you weie 
my sister, so that I might express my sympathy more freely, and 
comfort you." 

" Tell me, then, why I am kept away. If you can show me a sufficient 
cause, I will be reasonable, and obey ; but do not say again I should be 
disturbing him, for it is not true." 

" He is too ill for you to see him, his symptoms are too painful ; 
were vou to go in, in defiance of advice, you would regret it all your 
after-life." 

" Is he dying.'' " 

Mr. Carlyle hesitated. Ought he to dissemble with her as the 
doctors had done .' A strong feeling was upon him that he ought not. 

" I trust to you not to deceive me," she simply said. 

" I fear he is. I believe he is." 

She rose up ; she grasped his arm in the sudden fear that Hashed 
over her. '* You are deceiving me, and he is dead 1 " 

" I am not deceiving you, Lady Isabel. He is not dead : but — it 
may be very near." 

She laid her face down upon the sofa pillow. '• Going for ever from 
me I going for ever. Oh, ^Ir. Carlyle, let me see him for a minute ! 
iust one farewell ! will you not try for me '' " 



64 EAST LYNNE 

He knew how hopeless it was, but he turned to leave the room. " I 
will go and see. But you will remain here quietly : you will not come." 

She bowed her head in acquiescence, and he closed the door. Had 
she indeed been his sister, he would probably have turned the key 
upon her. He entered the earl's chamber, but not many seconds did 
he remain in it. 

" It is over," he whispered to Mrs. INIason, whom he met in the 
corridor. "And Mr. Wainwright is asking for you." 

" You are soon back," cried Isabel, lifting her head. " May I go? " 

He sat down and took her hand, shrinking from his task. " I wish 
I could comfort you," he exclaimed in a tone of deep emotion. 

Her face turned of a ghastly whiteness, as white as another's not far 
away. " Tell me the worst," she breathed. 

" 1 have nothing to tell you but the worst. May God support you, 
dear Lady Isabel." 

She turned to hide her face and its misery from him, and a low wail 
of anguish escaped from her, betraying its own tale of despair. 

The grey dawn of morning was breaking o\-er the world, advent of 
another bustling day in life's history ; but the spirit of William Vane, 
Earl of Mount Severn, had soared away from it for ever. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE KEEPERS OF THE DEAD- 



Events, between the death of Lord Mount Severn and his interment, 
occurred quickly ; to one of them the reader may feel inclined to 
demur, as believing that it could have no foundation in fact, in the 
actions of real life. He would be wrong. The circumstances really 
occurred. 

The earl died on Friday morning, at daylight. The news spread 
rapidly ; it generally does on the death of a peer, if he have been of 
note (whether good or bad) in the world. It was known in London 
before the day was over ; the consequence of which was, that by 
Saturday morning early, a shoal of what the late earl would have called 
harpies had arrived to surround East Lynne. There were creditors 
for small sums and for great, for five or ten pounds, up to five or ten 
thousand. Some were civil ; some impatient ; some loud and rough 
and angry ; some came in to put executions on the effects, and some — 
io (jrrcst ilic body ! 

This last act was accomplished cleverly. Two men, each with a 
remarkably hooked nose, stole away from the hubbub of the clamourcrs, 
and peering cunningly about, made their way to the side, or trades- 
man's entrance. A kitchen maid answered their general appeal at the 
bell. 

" Has the coffin come > et ? " said they. 

" Coffin .'' no ! " was the girl's reply. " The shell ain't here yet. Mr. 
Jones didn't promise that till nine o'clock, -^nd it haven't gone eight." 

" It won't be long," quoth they, " it's on its road. We'll go up to his 
lordship's room, and be getting ready for it." 



THE KEEPERS OF THE DEAD. 65 

The girl called the butler. " Two men from Jones's, the undertaker's, 
sir," announced she. " The shell's coming on, and they want to go 
up and make ready for it." 

The butler marshalled them upstairs himself, and introduced them 
to the room. " That will do," said they, as he was about to enter with 
them ; " we won't trouble you to wait." And, closing the door upon the 
unsuspicious butler, they took up their station on either side the dead, 
like a couple of ill-omened mutes. They had placed an arrest upon 
the corpse ; it was theirs, until their claim was satisfied, and they sat 
down to thus watch and secure it. Pleasant occupation ! 

It may have been an hour later that Lady Isabel, leaving her own 
chamber, opened noiselessly that of the dead. She had been in it 
several times the previous day ; at first with the housekeeper ; after- 
wards, when the nameless dread was somewhat effaced, alone. But 
she felt nervous again this morning, and had gained the bed before she 
ventured to lift her eyes from the carpet and encounter the sight. Then 
she started, for there sat two strange-looking men — and not attractive 
men, either. 

It darted through her mind that they must be people from the 
neighbourhood, come to gratify an idle and unpardonable curiosity : 
her first impulse was to summon the butler : her second, to speak to 
them herself. 

'• Do you want anything here?" she quietly said. 

" Much obleeged for the inquiry, miss. We are all right." 

The words and tone struck her as being singular in the extreme : 
and they kept their seats, too, as though they had a right to be there. 

" Why arc you here ? " she repeated. " What are you doing 1 " 

" Well, miss, I don't mind telling you, for I suppose you are his 
daughter " — pointing his left thumb over his shoulder at the late peer 
— " and we hear he have got no other relative anigh him. We have 
been obleeged, miss, to perform a unpleasant dooty, and secure him." 

The words were as Greek to her : and the men saw that they were. 

" He unfort'natcly owed a sight of money, miss — as you perhaps be 
aware on, and our employers is in, deep. So, as soon as they heard 
what had happened, they sent us down to arrest the dead corpse : and 
we have done it." 

Amazement, horror, fear, struggled together in the shocked mind of 
Lady Isabel. Arrest the dead ! She had never heard of a like calamity ; 
nor could she have believed in it. Arrest it for what purpose ? What 
to do? With a panting heart and ashy lips she turned from the room. 
Mrs. Mason happened to be passing near the stairs, and Isabel flew to 
her, seizing her with both hands in her terror, as she burst into a fit of 
ner\-ous tears. 

" Those men — in there ! " she gasped. 

" What men, my lady ? " returned Mrs. ^Lison in surprise. 

" I don't know ; I don't know. I think they are going to stop there : 
they say they have taken papa." 

After a pause of bewildered astonishment, the housekeeper left her 

standing where she was, and went to the earl's chamber, to see if she 

could fathom the mystery of the words. Isabel leaned against 

the balustrades ; partly for support, partly that she seemed afraid to 

Sast Lnina. 6 



66 EAST LYNNE. 

stir from them ; and the ominous disturbance, downstairs, reached her 
ears. Strangers, interlopers, appeared to be in the hall, talking vehe- 
mently, and complaining in bitter tones. More and more terrified, she 
held her breath to listen. 

" Where's the good of your seeing the young lady ? " cried the butler, 
in a tone of remonstrance. " She knows nothing about the earl's affairs ; 
she is in grief enough, just now, without any other worry." 

" I will see her," retorted a dogged voice. "If she's too upstart and 
mighty to come down and answer a question or two, why, I'll find my 
way to her. Here we are, a shameful crowd of us, swindled out of 
our own, told there's nobody we can speak to ; nobody here but the 
young lady, and she must not be troubled ! She didn't find it trouble 
to help to spend our money ! She has no honour and not the feelings 
of a lady, if she don't come and speak to us." 

Repressing her rebellious emotion. Lady Isabel glided partly down 
the staircase, and softly called to the butler. 

" What is all this ? " she asked. " I must know." 

" Oh, my lady, don't go amongst those rough men ! You cannot do 
any good ; pray go back before they see you. I have sent for Mr. 
Carlyle, and expect him here everj^ moment." 

" Did papa owe them all money ? " she shivered. 

" I am afraid he did, my lady." 

She went swiftly on ; and, passing through the few stragglers in the 
hall, entered the dining-room, where the greater number had congre- 
gated, and the hubbub was loudest. All anger, at least all external 
anger, was hushed at her sight. She looked so young, so innocent, 
so childlike in her pretty morning dress, her fair face shaded by 
falling curls, so little fitted to combat with, or understand their 
business, that instead of pouring forth complaints, they hushed them 
into silence. 

" I heard some one saying that I ought to see you," she began, 
agitation causing the words to come forth brokenly. " What did you 
want with me ? " 

Then they poured out their complaints, but not angrily, and she 
listened until she grew sick. There were many and formidable claims ; 
jjromissory notes and I O U's, overdue bills and underduc bills : heavy 
outstanding deists of all sorts, and trifles ('comparatively speaking) for 
housekeeping, servants' liveries, and out-door servants' wages. 

What was Isabel Vane to answer? what excuse to offer.'' what 
hope or promise to give? She stood in bewilderment, unable to 
speak, turning from one to the other, her sweet eyes full of pity and 
contrition. 

" The fact is, young lady," said one who bore the exterior of a 
gentleman, " we should not have come down to troulile you — at least, 
I can answer for myself — but his lordship's men of business, Warburton 
and Ware, to whom many of us hastened last evening, told us there 
would not be a shilling for anybody, unless it could be had from the 
furniture. When it comes to that, it is, ' first come, first served,' and 
I got down by morning light, and levied an execution." 

"Which was levied before you came," put in a maiij who might be 
brother to the two upstairs, to judge by nis nose. " But what's such 



\ 



THE KEEPERS OF THE DEAD. 67 

furniture as this, to our claims — if you come to compare 'cm ? no more 
than a bucket of water is to the Thames." 

" What can I do ? " shivered Lady Isabel, " What is it you wish me 
to do? I have no money to give you. I " 

" No, miss," broke in a pale, quiet man ; " if report telis true, you are 
more wronged than we are, for you won't have a roof to put your head 
under, or a guinea to call your own." 

" He has been a scoundrel to everybody," interrupted an intemperate 
voice ; " he has ruined thousands." 

The speech was hissed down : even they were not men gratuitously 
to insult a delicate young lady. 

" Perhaps you'll just answer us a question, miss," persisted the voice, 
in spite of the hisses. " Is there any ready money that can " 

But another person had entered the room — Mr. Carlyle. He caught 
sight of the white face and trembhng hands of Isabel, and interrupted 
the last speaker with little ceremony. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " he demanded, in a tone of authority. 
" What do you want ? " 

" If you are a friend of the late peer's, you ought to know what we 
want," was the response. "We want our debts paid." 

" But this is not the place to come to," returned Mr. Carlyle : " your 
Hocking here, in this extraordinary manner, will do no good. You must 
go to Warburton and Ware." 

" We have been to them — and received their answer. A cool assur- 
ance that there'll be nothing for anybody." 

" At any rate, you will get nothing here," observed Mr. Carlyle, to 
the collected assembly. " Allow me to request you to leave the house 
at once." 

It was not likely that they would do so at his bidding. And they said it. 

" Then I warn you of the consequences of a refusal," quietly said 
Mr. Carlyle: "you are trespassing upon a stranger's property. This 
house was not Lord Mount Severn's : he sold it some time ago." 

They knew better. Some laughed, and said these tricks were stale. 

" Listen, gentlemen," rejoined Mr. Carlyle, in the plain, straight- 
foi-ward manner that carried its own truth with it. " To assert what 
could be disproved when the earl's affairs came to be investigated, 
would be simply foolish. I give you my word of honour as a man — 
that this estate, with the house and all that it contains, passed legally, 
months ago, from the hands of Lord Mount Severn : and, during his 
recent sojourn here, he was only a visitor in it. Go and ask his men of 
business whether it is so or not." 

" Who purchased it ? " was the inquir}^ 

" Mr. Carlyle, of West Lynne. Some of you may possibly know him 
by reputation." 

Some of them did. " A cute young lawyer," observed a voice ; " as 
his father was before him." 

" I am he," proceeded Mr. Carlyle. " And being a ' cute lawyer,' as 
you do me the honour to decide, you cannot suppose I should risk my 
money upon any sale not perfectly safe and legal. I was not an agent 
in the affair ; I employed agents : for it was my own money that I 
invested, and East Lynne is mmei" 



68 EAST LYNNE. 

" Is the purchase-money paid over?" inquired more than one. 

" It was paid over at the time : last June." 

"What did Lord Mount Severn do with the money?" 

" I do not know," rephed Mr. Carlyle. " I am not cognizant of 
Lord Mount Severn's private affairs." 

Significant murmurs arose : " Strange that the earl should stop two 
or three months at a place that wasn't his ! " 

"It may appear so to you, but allow me to explain," returned Mr. 
Carlyle. " The earl expressed a wish to pay East Lynne a few days' 
visit, by way of farewell, and I acceded to the request. Before the few 
days were over, he was taken ill, and remained, from that time, too ill 
to quit it. This day, this very day, gentlemen, was at length fixed for 
his departure." 

" And you tell us you bought the furniture ? " 

" Everything as it stands. You need not doubt my word, for proofs 
will be forthcoming. East Lynne was in the market for sale : I heard 
of it, and became the purchaser— just as I might have bought an 
estate from any of you. And now, as this is my house, and you have 
no claim upon me, I should be obliged to you to withdraw." 

" Perhaps you will claim the horses and carriages next, sir," cried 
the man with the hooked nose. 

Mr. Carlyle lifted his head haughtily. "What is mine, is mine ; 
legally purchased and paid for ; a just price. The carriages and 
horses I have nothing to do with • Lord l\Iount Severn brought them 
down with him." 

" And I have a safe watcher over them in the out premises, to see 
that they don't run away," nodded the man, complacently. " And, if 
I don't mistake, there is a safe watcher over something else upstairs." 

" What a cursed scoundrel Mount Severn was ! " 

" Whatever he may have been, it does not give you the right to 
outrage the feelings of his daughter," warmly interrupted Mr. Carlyle : 
" and I should have thought that men, calling themselves Englishmen, 
would have disdained the shame. Allow me, Lady Isabel," he added, 
imperatively taking her hand to lead her from the room. " I will re- 
main and deal with this business." 

But she hesitated. The injury her father had done these men was 
telling painfully on her sense of right, and she essayed to speak a 
word of apology, of sorrow : she thought she ought to do so ; she did 
not like them to think her quite heartless. But it was a painful task, 
and the colour went and came in her pale face, and her breath was 
laboured from excess of tribulation. 

" I am very sorry," she stammered ; and, with the effort of 
speaking, emotion overcame her, and she burst into tears. "I did 
not know anything of all this : my father's affairs were not spoken of 
before me. I believe I have not anything : if I had, I would divide 
it amongst you as equally as I could. But should it ever be in 
my power, should money ever be mine, I will thankfully pay all your 
claims." 

All your claims ! Lady Isabel little thought what that " all " would 
include. However, such promises, made at such a moment, fall 
heedlessly on the ear. Scarcely one present who did not feci sympathy 



THE KEEPERS OF THE DEAD. 69 

and sorrow for her, and Mr. Carlyle led her from the room. He closed 
the door upon the noisy crew, and then her sobs came forth hysterically. 

" I am so grieved. Lady Isabel ! Had I foreseen this annoyance, you 
should have been spared it. Can you go upstairs alone 1" — or shall I 
call Mrs. Mason ?" 

" Oh yes, I can go alone : I am not ill, only frightened and sick. 
This is not the worst," she shivered. " There are two men up— up — 
with — with papa." 

Up with papa! Mr. Carlyle was puzzled. He saw that she was 
shaking from head to foot as she stood before him. 

" I cannot understand it, and it terrifies me," she continued, attempt- 
ing an explanation. " They are sitting in the room close to him ; they 
have taken him, they say." 

A blank, thunderstruck pause. Mr. Carlyle looked at her ; he did 
not speak ; and then he turned and looked at the butler, who was 
standing near them. But the man only responded by giving his head 
a half shake, and Mr. Carlyle saw that it was an ominous one. 

" I will clear the house of these," he said to Lady Isabel, pointing 
to the dining-room, " and then join you upstairs." 

" Two ruffians, sir, and they have possession of the body," whis- 
pered the butler into Mr. Carlyle's ear, as Lady Isabel departed. 
" They obtained entrance to the chamber by a sly, deceitful trick, 
saying they were the undertakers men, and that he can't be buried, 
unless their claims are paid, if it's for a month to come. It has upset 
us all, sir ; Mrs. Mason, while telling me — for she was the first to know 
it — was as ill as she could be." 

At present Mr. Carlyle returned to the dining-room, and bore the 
brunt of the anger of those savage, and — it may be said — ill-used men. 
Not that it was vented upon him ; quite the contrary ; but on the 
memory of the unhappy peer, who was lying overhead. A few had 
taken the precaution to insure the earl's life, and they were the best 
off. They left the house after a short time, for Mr. Carlyle's statement 
was indisputable, and they knew the law better than to remain tres- 
passers on his property. 

But the custodums of the dead could not be so dismissed. Mr. 
Carlyle proceeded to the death-chamber, and examined their authority. 
A similar case had never occurred under his own observation : though 
it had under his father's, and Mr. Carlyle remembered hearing of it. 
The body of a church dignitary, who had died deeply in debt, was 
arrested as it was being carried through the cloisters to its grave in the 
cathedral. These men, sitting over Lord Mount Severn, enforced 
heavy claims, and there they must sit, until the arrival of Mr. Vane 
from Castle Marling — now the Earl of Mount Severn. 

On the following morning, Sunday, Mr. Carlyle proceeded again 
to East Lynne, and found, to his surprise, that there was no arrival. 
Isabel was in the breakfast-room alone, the meal on the table untouched, 
and she shi\'cring — on a low ottoman before the fire. She looked so 
ill, that Mr. Carlyle could not forbear remarking upon it. 

" I have not slept, and I am very cold," she answered. " I did no*' 
close my eyes all night ; I was too terrified to do so." 

" Terrified at what ? " he asked. 



70 EAST LYNNE. 

" At those men," she whispered. " It is strange that Mr. Vane has 
not arrived." 

"Is the post in?" 

" I don't know, ' she apathetically replied. " I have received no- 
thing." 

She had scarcely spoken when the butler entered with his salver 
full of letters, most of them bearing condolence to Lady Isabel. She 
singled out one and hastened to open it, for it bore the Castle Marling 
postmark. " It is Mrs. Vane's handwriting," she remarked to Mr. 
Carlyle. 

" Castle McD'liJjg, Saturday. 

" My dear Isabel, — I am dreadfully grieved and shocked at the 
news conveyed in Mr. Carlyle's letter to my husband, for he has gone 
cruising in his yacht, and 1 opened it. Goodness knows where he may 
be : round the coast somewhere ; but he said he should be home by 
Sunday, and as he is generally pretty punctual in keeping his word, 
I expect him. Be assured he will not lose a moment in hastening to 
East Lynne. 

" I cannot express what I feel for you, and am too bouleversee to 
write more. Try and keep up your spirits, and believe me, dear Isabel, 
with sincere sympathy and regret, faithfully yours, 

" Emma Mount Severn." 

The colour came into Isabel's pale cheek as she read the signature. 
She thought, had she been the writer, she should, in that first letter, 
have still signed herself Emma Vane. Isabel handed the note to Mr. 
Carlyle. " It is very unfortunate," she sighed. 

Mr. Carlyle glanced over it, as quickly as Mrs. Vane's illegible 
writing would allow him, and drew in his hps in a peculiar way when 
he came to the signature. Perhaps at the same thought which had 
struck Isabel. 

'' Had Mrs. Vane been worth a rush, she would have come herself, 
knowing your lonely situation," he uttered impulsively. 

Isabel leaned her head upon her hand. All the difficulties and 
embarrassments of her position came crowding upon her mind. No 
orders had been given in preparation for the funeral, and she felt that 
she had no right to give any. The Earls of Mount Se\-ern were buried 
at Mount Severn, but to take her father thither would involve great 
expense : would the present earl sanction that ? Since the previous 
morning, she seemed to ha\e grown old in the workl's experiences ; 
her ideas were changed, the bent of her thoughts had been violently 
turned from its course. Instead of being a young lady oi position, of 
wealth and rank, she appeared to herself more in the light of an un- 
fortunate pauper ; an interloper in the house she was inhabiting. It 
has been the custom in romance to represent young ladies, especially 
if they arc handsome and interesting, as being altogether obHvious of 
cvery-day cares and necessities, supremely indifferent to the future 
prospects of poverty — poverty that brirgs hunger and thirst and cold 
and nakedness in its train ; but, be assured, this apathy never exists 
in real life. Isabel Vane's grief for her father — whom, whatever may 
have been the aspect he wore for others, she had deeply loved and 



THE KEEPERS OF THE DEAD. 71 

reverenced — was sharply poignant : but in the midst of that grief, and 
of the singular troubles his death had brought forth, she could not 
close her eyes to her own future. Its uncertainty, its foreshadowed 
embarrassments did obtrude themselves, and the words of that plain- 
speaking creditor kept ringing in her ears--" You won't have a roof to 
put your head under, or a guinea to call your own." Where was she 
to go? — with whom to live? she was in Mr. Carlyle's house, now. 
And how was she to pay the servants? Money was owing to them all. 

'•Mr. Carlyle, how long has this house been yours?" she asked, 
breaking the silence. 

" The purchase was completed in June. Did Lord Mount Severn 
never tell you he had sold it to me ? " 

'• No ; never. All these things are yours ? " glancing round the room. 

''The furniture was sold with the house. Not these sort of things," 
he added, his eye falling on the silver of the breakfast-table: "not 
plate and hnen."' 

" Not plate and linen ! Then those poor men, who were here 
yesterday, have a right to them," she quickly cried. 

" I scarcely know. I believe the plate goes with the entail — and the 
jewels go also. The linen cannot be of msch consequence, either way." 

" Are my clothes my own ? " 

He smiled at her simplicity ; and assured her that they were no one 
else's. 

" I did not know," she sighed ; " I did not understand. So many 
strange things have happened in the last day or two, that I seem to 
understand nothing." 

Indeed she could not understand. She had no delinite ideas on the 
subject of this transfer of East Lynne to Mr. Carlyle : plenty of inde- 
finite ones, and they Avere haunting her. Fears of debt to him, and of 
the house and its contents being handed over to him in liquidation, 
were working in her brain. 

" Does my father owe you any money ? " she breathed in a timid 
tone. 

" Not any," he replied. " Lord Mount Severn was never indebted to 
me in his life." 

" Vet you purchased F.nst Lynne ! " 

" As any one else might have done," he answered, discerning the 
drift of her thoughts. " 1 w.is in search of an estate for investment, 
and East Lynne suited me." 

" I feel my position, Mr. Carlyle," she resumed, the rebellious tears 
forcing themselves to her eyes, " thus to be intruding upon you for a 
shelter. And I cannot help myself." 

"You can help grieving me," he gently answered, "which you do 
when you talk of obligation. The obligation is on my side, Lady 
Isabel ; and Avhen I express a hope that you will continue at East 
Lynne while it can be of service to you, however prolonged that period 
may be, I assure you I say it in all sincerity." 

" You are truly kind," she faltered ; " and for a few days — until I can 

think— until Oh, Mr. Carlyle. are papa's affairs really so bad as 

they said yesterday ? " she broke off, her perplexities recurring to her 
with vehement force. " Is there nothinsj left ? " 



72 EAST LYNNE. 

Now, Mr. Carlyle might have given the evasive assurance that there 
would be plenty left, just to tranquillize her. But to use deceit with 
her would have pricked against every feeling of his nature ; and he saw 
how implicitly she relied upon his truth. 

" I fear things are not very bright," he answered. " That is, so far 
as we can see at present. But there may be some settlement effected 
for you that you do not know of. Warburton and Ware " 

" No," she interrupted ; " I never heard of a settlement, and I am 
sure there is none. I see the worst plainly : I have no home ; no home, 
and no money. This house is yours ; the town-house and Mount Severn 
go to Mr. Vane. And I have nothing." 

" But surely Mr. Vane will be delighted to welcome you to your old 
home. The houses pass to him — but it almost seems as though you 
had a greater right to them than he or Mrs. Vane." 

" My home with them ! " she retorted, as if the words had stung her. 
" What are you saying, Mr. Carlyle ? " 

" I beg your pardon. Lady Isabel. I should not have presumed to 
touch upon these points myself, but — — " 

" Nay, I think I ought to beg yours," she interrupted, more calmly. 
" I am only grateful for the interest you take in them ; the kindness 
you have shown. But I could never make my home with Mrs. Vane." 

Mr. Carlyle rose. He could do no good by remaining, and did not 
think well to intrude longer. He suggested that it might be more 
pleasant if Isabel had a friend with her : Mrs. Ducie would, no doubt, 
be willing to come, and she was a kind and motherly woman. 

Isabel shook her head with a passing shudder. " Have strangers 
here, with — all — that — in papa's chamber ! " she uttered. " Mrs. Ducie 
drove over yesterday ; perhaps to remain ; I don't know ; but I was 
afraid of questions, and would not see her. When I thmk of — that — 
I feel thankful that I am alone." 

The housekeeper stopped Mr. Carlyle as he was going out. " Sir, 
what is the news from Castle Marling? Pound said there was a letter. 
Is Mr. Vane coming .'' " 

" He was out yachting. Mrs. Vane expected him home yesterday, 
so it is to be hoped that he will be here to-dav." 

" What will be done if he does not come ? " she breathed. " The 
leaden coffin ought to be soldered down — for you know, sir, the state 
he was in when he died." 

" It can be soldered down without Mr. Vane." 

" Of course — without Mr. Vane. It's not that, sir. Will those men 
allow it to be done? The undertakers were here this morning at day- 
break, and those men intimated that they were not going to lose sight 
of the dead. The words sounded significant to us, but we asked them 
no questions. Have they a right to prevent it, sir ? " 

"Upon my word I cannot tell," replied Mr. Carlyle. "The pro- 
ceeding is so rare a one that I know little what legal right they have, 
or have not. Do not mention this fear to Lady Isabel. And when 

Mr. Va when Lord Mount Severn arrives, send down to inform 

me of it." 



( 73 ) 
CHAPTER XI. 

THE NEW PEER, AND THE BANK-NOTE. 

A POST-CHAISE was driven furiously up the avenue that Sunday after- 
noon. It contained the new peer, Lord Mount Severn. The more 
direct line of rail from Castle Marling brought him within five miles 
of West Lynne, and thence he had travelled in a hired chaise. Mr. 
Carlyle soon joined him, and almost at the same time Mr. Warburton 
arrived from London. Absence from town at the period of the earl's 
death had prevented Mr. Warburton's earlier attendance. Business 
was entered upon immediately. 

The present earl knew that his predecessor had been an embarrassed 
man, but he had no conception of the extent of the evil. They had not 
been intimate, and rarely came into contact with each other. As the 
various items of news were now detailed to him — wasteful expenditure, 
disastrous ruin, a total absence of provision for Isabel — he stood 
petrified and aghast. He was a tall, stout man of three and forty 
years, his nature honourable, his manners cold, and his countenance 
severe. 

"It is the most iniquitous piece of business I ever heard of," he 
exclaimed to the two lawyers. " Of all reckless fools, Mount Severn 
must have been the worst ! " 

" Unpardonably improvident, as regards his daughter," was the 
assenting remark. 

" Improvident 1 it must have been rank madness," retorted the earl. 
" No man in his senses could leave a child to the mercy of the world, 
as he has loft her. She has not a shilling ; literally not a shilling in 
her possession. I put the question to her — what money was in the 
house when the earl died. Twenty or twenty-five pounds, she answered, 
which she had since given to Mason, who required it for housekeeping 
purposes. If the girl wants a ribbon for herself, she has not the 
money to pay for it I Can you realize such a case ? " continued the 
excited peer. " I will stake my veracity that such a one never yet 
occurred." 

" No money for her own personal wants ! " exclaimed Mr. Carlyle. 

" Not a halfpenny in the world. And there are no funds, and will 
be none, that I can see, for her to draw upon." 

" Quite correct, my lord," nodded Mr. Warburton. " The entailed 
estates go to you, and what trifling matters of personal property may 
be left, the creditors will take care of" 

" I understand that East Lynne is yours," cried the earl, turning 
sharply upon Mr. Carlyle. " Isabel has just said so." 

" It is," was the reply. " It became mine last June. I believe his 
lordship kept the fact a close secret." 

"He was obliged to keep it secret," interposed Mr. Warburton, ad- 
dressing Lord Mount Severn, " for not a stiver of the purchase-money 
could he have fingered, had it got wind. Beyond ourselves and Mr. 
Carlyle's agents, the fact was known to none." 

" It is strange, sir, that you could not urge the claims of his child 



74 EAST LYNNE. 

upon the earl," rejoined the new peer to Mr. Warburton, his tone one 
of harsh reproof. " You were in his confidence ; you knew the state 
of his affairs ; it was in your Une of duty to do it." 

" And, knowing the state of his affairs, my lord, we knew how use- 
less the urging it would be," returned Mr. Warburton. " He had 
allowed the time to slip by when he could have made a provision 
for her : the power to do so had passed, years ago. Once or twice 
I have brought it under his notice, but it was a sore point with him, 
and he would not pursue it. I do not think he was uneasy about her : 
he depended upon her making a good marriage daring his lifetime ; 
not expecting to die so young." 

" Out of his power ! " repeated the earl, stopping in his impatient 
pacings of the room and facing Ivlr. Warburton. " Don't tell me, sir ! 
he should have done something. He might have insured his life for a 
few thousands, if nothing else. The child is without anything ; with- 
out even pocket-money ! Do you understand ? " 

" Unfortunately I understand only too well," returned the lawyer. 
"But your lordship has only a faint idea of the burdens Lord Mount 
Severn had upon him. The interest alone on his debts was frightful 
— and the deuce's own work there used to be to get it. Not to speak 
of the kites he let loose : he would fly them, and nothing could stop 
him ; and they had to be provided for." 

" Oh, I know," replied the earl, with a gesture of contempt. " Draw- 
ing one bill to cover another : that was his system." 

"Draw!" echoed Mr. Warburton: "he would have drawn a bill 
upon Aldgate pump. It was a downright mania with him." 

" Urged to it by his necessities, I conclude," put in Mr. Carlyle. 

" He had no business to have such necessities, sir," cried the earl, 
wrathfully. " But let us proceed to business. What money is there 
lying at his bankers, Mr. Warburton? Do you know?" 

" None," was the blank reply. " We overdrew the account our- 
selves a fortnight ago, to meet one of his pressing liabilities. Wc hold 
a little ; and, had he lived a week or two longer, the autumn rents 
would have been paid in— though they must have been as quickly paid 
out again." 

" I'm glad there's something. What is the amount ?" 

" My lord," answered Mr. Warljurton, sliaking his head in a self- 
pitying manner, " I am sorry to tell you that what we hold will not 
half satisfy our own claims : money actually paid out of our pockets." 

" Then where on earth is the money to come from, sir ? For the 
funeral ; for servants' wages ; for everything, in short?" 

"There is none to come from anywhere," was the reply of Mr. War- 
burton. 

Lord Mount Severn strode the carpet more fiercely. "Wicked 
improvidence I shameful profligacy ! callous-hearted man ! To live a 
rogue, and die a beggar, leaving his daughter to the charity of 
strangers ! " 

" Her case presents the worst feature of the whole," remarked Mr. 
Carlyle. " What will she do for a home ? " 

".She mustf of course, find it with me," replied his lordship. "And 
I should hope, a better one than this. With all these debts and duns 



THE NEW PEER, AND THE BANK-NOTE, 75 

at his elbow, Mount Severn's house could not have been a bower of 
roses." 

" I fancy she knew nothing of the state of affairs ; had seen little, if 
anything, of the embarrassments," returned Mr. Carlyle. 

" Nonsense ! " said the peer. 

" Mr. Carlyle is right, my lord," observed IMr. Warburton, looking 
over his spectacles. "Lady Isabel was in safety at Mount Severn 
until the spring, and the purchase-money from East Lynne was a stop- 
g.ip for many things, and made matters easy for the moment. However, 
his imprudences are at an end now." 

" No, they are not at an end," returned Lord Mount Severn : "they 
leave their effects behind them. I hear there was a fine scene yester- 
day morning.: some of the unfortunate wretches he has taken in made 
their appearances here, all the way from town." 

** Oh, they are Jews, half of them," slightingly spoke Mr. Warburton. 
" If they do lose a little, it will be an agreeable novelty to them." 

"Jews have as much right to their own as we have, Mr. Warburton," 
was the peer's angry reprimand. "And if they were Turks and infidels, 
it would not excuse Mount Severn's practices. Isabel says it was you, 
Mr. Carlyle, who contrived to get rid of them." 

" By convincing them that East Lynne and its furniture belonged to 
me. But there arc those two men upstairs, in possession of — of him : 
1 could not get rid of them." 

The earl looked at him. " I do not understand you." 

" Did you not know that they have seized the corpse ? " asked Mr. 
Carljlc, dropping his voice. " Two men have been posted over it, like 
sentinels, since yesterday morning. And there's a third in the house, 
I hear, who relieves each by turn, that they may go down to the hall 
and take their meals." 

The carl had halted in his walk and drawn near to Mr. Carlyle, his 
mouth open, his face a marvel of consternation. "By George!" was 
all Mr. Warburton uttered, and snatched off his glasses. 

" Mr. Carlyle, do I understand you aright — that the body of the late 
earl has been seized for debt ? " demanded the peer solemnly. " Seize 
a dead body ! Am I awake or dreaming ? " 

" It is what they have done. They got into the room by stratagem." 

"Is it possible that transactions so infamous are permitted by our 
law.'" ejaculated the earl. "Arrest a dead man! I never heard of 
such a thing. I am shocked beyond expression. Isabel said something 
al)out two men, I remember : but she was so full of grief and agitation, 
t)iat I only half comprehended what she said upon any subject. Why, 
what will be done ? Cannot we bury him ? " 

" I fancy not. The housekeeper told me this morning she feared 
they would not even suffer the coffins to be closed. And that ought to 
be done with all speed." 

"It is perfectly horrible," uttered the carl. 

"Who has done it ? do you know?" incjuired Mr. Warburton. 

" Some one of the name of Anstcy," replied Mr. Carlyle. " In the 
absence of any member of the family, I took upon myself to pay the 
chamber a visit, and examine into the men's autViprity. The claim is 
about three thousand pounds." 



76 EAST LYNNE. 

" If it's Anstey who has done it, it is a personal debt of the earl's, 
really owing, every pound of it," observed Mr. Warburton. " A sharp 
man, though, that Anstey, to hit upon such a scheme." 

" And a shameless and a scandalous man," added Lord Mount 
Severn. " Well, this is a pretty thing ! What's to be done ? " 

While they consult let us look for a moment at Lady Isabel. She 
sat alone, in great perplexity, indulging the deepest grief. Lord 
Mount Severn had intimated to her, kindly and affectionately, that 
henceforth she must find her home with him and his wife. Isabel 
returned a faint " thank you," and, as soon as he left her, burst into a 
paroxysm of rebellious tears. " Have her home with Mrs. Vane ! " she 
uttered to her own heart. " No, never : rather would she die, rather 
would she work for her living, rather would she eat a crust and drink 
water ! " And so on, and so on. Young demoiselles are somewhat 
prone to indulge in these flights of fancy : but they are in most cases 
impracticable and foolish ; exceedingly so were they in that of Lady 
Isabel Vane. Work for their living ! It may appear very feasible in 
theory ; but theory and practice are as opposite as light and darkness. 
The plain fact was, that Isabel had no alternative whatever : she must 
accept a home with Lady Mount Severn : and the conviction that it 
must be so stole over her spirit, even while her hasty lips were pro- 
testing that she Avould not. Lord Mount Severn wished to despatch 
her to Castle IMarling at once, but this she successfully resisted, and it 
was decided that she should travel the day after the funeral. 

Mr. Warburton, authorized by the earl, relieved the death-chamber 
of its two intruders : though— very much to the surprise of the house- 
hold — the obnoxious men still remained in the house. Mr. Warburton 
no doubt had his reasons ; he was a cautious practitioner : and the men 
continued ostensibly in charge, until the earl was buried. Some said 
that if the lawyer released them, another arrest might be expected. 

On Friday morning the interment took place — in St. Jude's church- 
yard, at West Lynne. Isabel's heart again rebelled bitterly : she 
thought it would have been at Mount Severn. The earl remarked, 
but not in her hearing, that he should have too much expense upon 
him, to go to unnecessary outlay over the funeral. Certainly he per- 
formed honourably all that could be required from him. lie paid all 
tradesmen's debts, and those owing to the servants, gave them each a 
month's wages and a month's board wages in lieu of the customary 
warning of dismissal, and paid for their mourning. Pound, the butler, 
he retained in his own service. With regard to Isabel's mourning, he 
had desired her to have everything suited to her station and degree. 
The carriages and horses, on which a detainer had been placed, he 
bought in for his own use : they were in excellent condition. 

Two mourners only attended the funeral, the earl and Mr. Carlyle : 
the latter was no relative of the deceased, and only a recent friend ; 
but the earl had invited him, probably not liking to parade alone his 
trappings of woe. Some of the county aristocracy were pall-bearers, 
and many private carriages followed. 

All was bustle on the following morning. The carl was to depart, 
and Isabel was to depart ; but not together. In the course of the day 
the domestics would disperse. The carl was speeding to London, an4 



THE NEW PEER, AND THE BANK-NOTE. 77 

the chaise to convey him to the railway station at West Lynnc was 
already at the door when Mr. Carlyle arrived. 

" I was beginning to fear you would not be here ; I have barely five 
minutes to spare," observed the earl, as he shook hands. " You are 
sure you fully understood about the tombstone ? " 

" Perfectly," replied Mr. Carlyle. " How is Lady Isabel } " 

" Very down-hearted, I fear, poor child, for she did not breakfast 
with me," returned the earl. " Mason told me that she was in a con- 
vulsion of grief. A bad man, a dad man was Mount Severn," he em- 
phatically added, as he rose and rang the bell. 

" Let Lady Isabel be informed that I am ready to depart, and that 
I wait to sec her," he said to the servant who answered it. " And 
while she is coming, Mr. Carlyle," he added, " allow me to express my 
obligation to you. How I should have got through this worrying 
business without you, I cannot divine. You have promised, mind, to 
pay me a visit, and 1 shall expect it speedily." 

" Promised conditionally — that I find myself in your neighbourhood," 
smiled Mr. Carlyle. "Should—" 

Isabel entered, dressed also, and ready, for she w^as to depart 
immediately after the earl. Her crape veil was over her face, but she 
threw it back. 

" My time is up, Isabel, and I must go. Is there anything you wish 
to say to me ? " 

She opened her lips to speak, but glanced at Mr. Carlyle, and hesi- 
tated. He was standing at the window, with his back towards them. 

" I suppose not," said the earl, answering himself, for he was in a 
hurry to be off, as many others are when starting on a journey. 
" You will have no trouble whatever, my dear ; Pound will see to 
everything. Only mind you have some refreshment in the middle of 
the day, for you won't be at Castle Marling before dinner-time. Tell 

Mrs. Va tell Lady Mount Severn that I had no time to write, and 

will do so from town." 

But Isabel stood before him in an attitude of uncertainty — of ex- 
pectancy, it may be said, her colour varying. 

" What is it } You wish to say something." 

She certainly did wish to say something, but she did not know how. 
It was a moment of embarrassment to her, intensely painful ; and the 
presence of Mr. Carlyle did not tend to lessen it. The latter had no 
idea his absence was wished for. 

" I — I — do not hke to ask you, but I — have — no money," she stam- 
mered, her delicate features flushing crimson, 

"Bless me, Isabel! I declare I forgot all about it," cried the earl, 

in a tone of vexation, *' Not being accustomed to this aspect 

of affiiirs is so new " He broke off his disjointed sentences, 

unbuttoned his coat, drew out his purse, and paused over its contents. 

'' Isabel, I have run myself very short, and have little beyond what 
will take me to town. You must make three pounds do for the present, 
my dear. Pound has the funds for the journey. Once at Castle 
Marling, Lady Mount Severn will supply you : but you must tell her, 
or she will not know." 

He shot some gold out of his purse as he spoke, and left two 



78 EAST LYNNE, 

sovereigns, and two half-sovereigns on the table. "Farewell, my 
dear; make yourself happy at Castle Marling ; I shall be home soon." 

Passing from the room with Mr. Carlyle, he stood talking with that 
gentleman for a minute, his foot on the step of the chaise ; and, the 
next, he was being whirled away. Mr. Carlyle returned to the break- 
fast-room, where Isabel, an ashy whiteness having replaced the crimson 
of her cheeks, was taking up the gold. 

" Will you do me a favour, Mr. Carlyle ? " 

" I will do anything I can for you." 

She pushed a sovereign and a half towards him. " It is for Mr. 
Kane. I told Marvel to send and pay him, but it seems she forgot it, 
or put it off, and he is not paid. The tickets were a sovereign : the 
rest is for tuning the piano. Will you kindly give it to him? If I 
trust one of the servants, it may be forgotten again in the hurry of their 
departure." 

" Kane's charge for tuning a piano is five shillings," remarked Mr. 
Carlyle." 

" But he was a long time occupied with it, and he did something to 
the leathers. It is not too much : besides, I never ordered him any- 
thing to eat. He wants money even more than I do," she added 
with a poor attempt at a smile. " But for thinking of him, I should 
not have mustered courage to beg of Lord Mount Severn — as you 
have just heard me do. In that case, do you know what I should 
have done .'' " 

" What should you have done ? " he smiled. 

" I should have asked you to pay hini for mc, and I would have 
repaid you as soon as I had any money of my own. I had a great 
mind to ask you, do you know ; it would have seemed less painful 
than being obliged to beg of Lord Mount Severn." 

" I hope it would," he answered, in a low, earnest tone. " What 
else can I do for you ? " 

She was about to answer " Nothing ; that he had done enough : " 
but at that moment their attention was attracted by a bustle outside, 
and they moved to the window. 

It was the carriage coming round for Lady Isabel. The late earl's 
chariot, which was to convey her to the railway station six or seven 
miles off It had four post-horses to it, the number having been 
designated by Lord Mount Severn, who appeared to wish Isabel to 
leave the neighbourhood in as much state as she had entered it. The 
carriage was packed, and Marvel was perched outside. 

" All is ready," she said, " and the time has come forme to go. Mr. 
Carlyle, I am about to leave you a legacy — those pretty gold and silver 
fish, that I Ijought a few weeks back." 

" But why do you not take them ? " 

" Take them to Lady Mount Severn's ! No, I would rather leave 
them with you. Throw a few crumbs into the globe now and then." 

Her face v/as wet with tears, and he knew she was talking hurriedly 
to cover her emotion. 

" Sit down a few minutes," he said. 

" No — no. I had better go at once." 

He took her hand to conduct her to the carriage. The servants 



THE NEW PEER, AND THE BANK-NOTE. 79 

were gathered in the hall, waiting for her ; some had grown grey in 
her father's ser\'ice. She put out her hand, she strove to say a word 
of thanks and of farewell, and she thought she should choke at the 
effort to keep down her sobs. At length it was over ; a kind look 
around, a yearning wave of the hand, and she passed on with Mr. 
Carlylc. 

Pound had ascended to his place by Marvel, and the post-boys were 
waiting the signal to start, but Mr. Carlyle had the carriage door open 
again, and was bending in, holding her hand. 

" I have not said a word of thanks to you for all your kindness, Mr. 
Carlylc," she cried, her breath laboured. " I ani sure you have seen 
that I could not." 

" I wish I could have done more ; I wish I could have shielded you 
from the annoyances you have been obliged to endure ! " he answered, 
" Should we never meet again " 

" Oh, but we shall meet again," she interrupted. " You promised 
Lord Mount Severn." 

" True : we may so meet ; casually ; once in a way : but our ordinary 
paths in life lie far and wide apart. God for ever bless you, dear Lady 
Isabel ! " 

The post-boys touched their horses, and the carriage sped on. She 
drew down the blinds, and leaned back in an agony of tears : tears for 
the home she was leeiving, for the father she had lost. Her last 
thoughts had been of gratitude to Mr. Carlyle ; but she had more cause 
to be grateful to him than she yet knew of. Emotion soon spends 
itself, and as her eyes cleared, she saw a bit of crumpled paper lying 
on her lap, which appeared to have fallen from her hand. Mecha- 
nically she took it up and opened it : it was a bank-note for a hundred 
pounds. 

Ah ! reader, you will say this is a romance, and a far-fetched one, 
but it is verily and indeed true. Mr. Carlyle had taken it v.ith him to 
East Lynne, that morning, with its destined purpose. 

Lady Isabel strained her eyes and gazed at the note : gazed, and 
gazed again. Where could it come from ? What brought it there ? 
Suddenly the undoubted truth flashed upon her : Mr. Carlyle had left 
it in her hand. 

Her cheeks burnt, her lingers trembled, her angry spirit was up in 
arms. In that first moment of discovery, she was ready to resent it as 
an insult ; but when she came to remember the sober facts of the last 
few days, her anger subsided into admiration of his wondrous kindness. 
Did he not know that she was without a home to call her own, without 
money — absolutely without money, except what would be given her in 
charity ? 

Weil, now, what should she do 1 Of course she could not use the 
note ; that was out of the question ; and to re-enclose it to him would 
pain him ; she felt that a nature, capable of generosity so delicate, 
would be deeply wounded at having its generosity thrown back upon 
itself. Should she so pain him ? Did he deserve it at her hands } No, 
She would keep the note until she had an opportunity of personally 
returning it to him. 

Leaning over the entrance-gate of their hou3«, between the grove of 



8o EAST LYNNE. 

dark trees, was Barbara Hare. She had heard the hour of Lady- 
Isabel's departure named ; and, woman-like, riva/Aike — for in that 
light had Barbara's fanciful and jealous heart grown to regard Lady- 
Isabel — posted herself there, to watch for it. Little saw she. Nothing 
but the carriage, the horses, and the attendants ; for the bHnds were 
down. 

She stood there long, long after the carriage had passed ; and pre- 
sently her father came up from the direction of West Lynne. 

" Barbara, have you seen Carlyle ? " 

" No, papa." 

" I have been to his office, but they thought he had gone up to 
East Lynne. Perhaps he will be coming by. I want to catch him if 
I can." 

Mr. Hare stood outside, and rested his elbow on the gate : Barbara 
stood within. It is probable the one v/as quite as anxious as the other 
to meet Mr. Carlyle. 

" What do you think the report is ? " suddenly exclaimed the justice. 
" The place is full of it. That Carlyle — - " 

Justice Hare took a step into the road, to obtain a better view of the 
way from East Lynne. Barbara's face flushed in the suspense created 
by his unfinished words. 

" That Mr. Carlyle what, papa .'' " she asked, as he stepped back again. 

" It is Carlyle coming," observed the justice ; " I thought they were 
his long legs. That he has bought East Lynne, Barbara ! " 

" Oh, papa ! Can it be true ? Mr. Carlyle bought East Lynne ! " 

"As likely as not. He and Miss Corny have a pretty nest of golden 
eggs laid by between them. I put the question to Dill just now; but 
he was as close as he always is, and said neither one way nor the other. 
Good morning ! " called out the justice, as Mr. Carlyle approached. 
" We are impatient on the bench to know if you have news from the 
Ipsley Union, because our Union vows the paupers shan't stop over 
to-day." 

" Yes," answered Mr. Carlyle ; " they admit the claim, so you may 
despatch them at once. How arc you, Barbara?" 

"That's all right, then," returned Mr. Hare. " Carlyle, people are 
saying that you have purchased East Lynne." 

" Are they ? Well, they are not far wrong. East Lynne is mine, 
I believe." 

" Let you lawyers alone for speed, when you have yourselves for 
clients. Here is the earl, dead scarcely a week, and East Lynne 
already transferred to you." 

" Not so, justice. East Lynne was mine months before the earl 
died." 

" What, when he was stopping there ? To think of that ! A pretty 
rent you charged him, I'll be bound." 

" No rent at all," responded Mr. Carlyle, with a smile. " He was an 
honorary tenant for the time being." 

" Then you were a great fool," observed the justice. " Beg pardon, 
Carlyle — you arc a young man, and I am an old one ; or soon shall be. 
The carl was another fool to get himself so awfully embarrassed." 

" Sadly embarrassed," chimed m Barbara. " I heard last night that 



tHE NEW PEER, AND TIlE BANK-NOTE. Si 

there was nothing left for Lady Isabel ; that she had actually no 
money to pay for her mourning. The Smiths told the Herberts, and 
the Herberts told me. Do you fancy it is true, Archibald ? " 

Mr. Carlyle appeared much amused. " I wonder they did not say 
Lady Isabel had no mourning, as well as n© money: it would have 
been only a little stretch further. What would East Lynne do without 
its marvels ? " 

"Ah, what indeed?" cried Justice Hare. "I met her carriage, 
spanking along with four horses, her maid and man outside. A young 
lady, travelling in that state, would not be at a loss for mourning and 
money, Miss Barbara." 

" People must gossip, you know, sir," said Mr. Carlyle. " My East 
Lynne purchase will be magnified into the purchase of West Lynne 
also, before the day is over. Good morning ; good morning, Barbara." 

When Lord Mount Severn reached London, and the hotel which the 
Vanes were in the habit of using, the first object his eyes lighted on was 
his own wife, whom he believed to be safe at Castle Marling. He 
inquired the cause. 

Lady Mount Severn gave herself little trouble to explain. She had 
been up a day or two — could order her mourning so much better in 
person — and William did not seem well, so she brought him up for a 
change. 

" I am sorry you came to town, Emma," remarked the earl, after 
listening. " Isabel has gone to-day to Castle Marling." 

Ladv Mount Severn quickly lifted her head. " What's she gone 
there for ? " 

" It is the most disgraceful piece of business altogether," returned the 
earl, without replying to the immediate question. " Mount Severn has 
died worse than a beggar, and there's not a shilling left for Isabel." 

" It was not expected that there would be much." 

" But there's nothing ; not a penny ; nothing even for her own personal 
expenses. I gave her a pound or two to-day, for she was completely 
without funds." 

The countess opened her eyes. "Where will she live? What will 
become of her?" 

" Slic must live with us. She " 

" With us ! " interrupted Lady Mount Severn, her voice almost 
reaching a scream. "That she never shall." 

" She must, Emma. There is nowhere else for her to live. I have 
been obliged to decide it so ; and she has gone, as I tell you, to Castle 
Marling to-day." 

Lady Mount Severn grew pale with anger. She rose from her seat, 
and confronted her husband, the table being between them. " Listen, 
Raymond, I will not have Isabel Vane under my roof. I hate her. 
How could you be cajoled into sanctioning such a thing?" 

" I was not cajoled into it, and my sanction was not asked," he 
Coldly replied. " I proposed it. Where else is she to live ? " 

" I don't care where," was the obstinate retort. " Never with us." 

" Consider the thing dispassionately," returned his lordship. " She 
has no other relatives, no claim on any one else. I, the succeeding peer 
(who might not have come into the estates for twenty years hence had 
East Lvnne. 6 



82 EAST LYNNE. 

Mount Severn's been a good life), am bound in courtesy, in good feeling, 
to afford her a home. Do you not see it ? " 

" No, I do not," returned the countess. "And I will not have her." 

" She is at Castle Marling now ; has gone to it as her home," resumed 
the earl ; •' and even you, when you return, will scarcely venture to turn 
her out again, into the road, or send her to the workhouse, or sohcit her 
Majesty's ministers for a grant for her from the pension fund, and draw 
down upon yourself the censure of the world. I think you might show 
better feeling, Emma." 

Lady Mount Severn did not retort openly. She possessed her share 
of common sense, and the argument of the earl was certainly difficult 
to answer- — -"Where was Isabel to go if not to them?" But she mut- 
tered angry words, and her face looked ready to spit fire. 

" She will not trouble you long," carelessly I'emarked the earl. " One 
so lovely as Isabel will be sure to marry early ; and she appears as 
gentle and sweet-tempered a girl as I ever saw, so whence can arise 
your dislike to her, I don't pretend to guess. Many a man will be too 
ready to forget her want of fortune for the sake of her face." 

" She shall marry the first who asks her," snapped the angry lady. 
" I'll take care of that." 



CHAPTER XII. 

LIFE AT CASTLE MARLING. 



Isabel had been in her new home about ten days when Lord and 
Lady Mount Severn arrived at Castle Marhng : which was not a castle, 
you may as well be told, but only the name of a town, very near to 
which was their residence, a small estate. Lord Mount Severn wel- 
comed Isabel ; Lady Mount Severn, also, after a fashion ; but her 
manner was so repellent, so insolently patronizing, that it brought the 
indignant crimson to the cheeks of Isabel. And, if this was the case at 
the first meeting, what do you suppose it must have been as time went 
on ? Galling slights, petty vexations, chilling annoyances were put upon 
her, trying her powers of endurance to their very utmost : she would 
wring her hands when alone, and passionately wish that she could find 
another refuge. 

Lady Mount Severn lived only in admiration, and she gathered 
around her those who would offer her its incense. She carried her 
flirtations to the very verge of propriety ; no further : there existed not 
a woman less likely to forget herself, or peril her fair fame, than Emma, 
Countess of Mount Severn ; and no woman was more scornfully unfor- 
giving to those who did forget themselves. She was the very essence 
of envy, of selfishness : she had never been known to invite a young 
and attractive woman to her house ; she would as soon have invited a 
leper. And now you can understand her wrath, when she heard that 
Isabel Vane was to be her permanent inmate ; Isabel, with her many 
charms, her youth, and her unusual beauty. At Christmas some 
visitors were down there ; chiefly young men, and they were not wary 
enough to dissemble the fact that the young beauty was a far greater 



LIFE At CASTLE MARLING. 83 

attraction than the exacting countess. Ihen broke forth, beyond 
bounds, her passion ; and in a certain private scene, when she forgot 
all but passion, and lost sight of the proprieties of life, Isabel was told 
that she was a hated intruder, her presence only suffered because there 
was no help for it. 

The earl and countess had two children, both boys, and in February 
the younger one, always a delicate child, died. This somewhat altered 
their plans. Instead of proceeding to London after Easter, as had 
been decided upon, they would not go until May. The earl had passed 
part of the winter at Mount Severn, looking after the repairs and reno- 
vations that were being made there. In March he went to Paris, full 
of grief for the loss of his boy ; far greater grief than was experienced 
by Lady Mount Severn. 

April approached ; and, with it, Easter. To the unconcealed dismay 
of Lady Mount Severn, her grandmother, Mrs. Levison, wrote her word 
that she required change, and should pass Easter with her at Castle 
Marling. Lady Mount Severn would have given her diamonds to have 
got out of it, but there Avas no escape : diamonds that were once 
Isabel's ; at least, which Isabel had worn. On the Monday in Passion 
Week the old lady arri\cd : and, with her, Francis Levison. They had 
no other guests. 

Things went on pretty smoothly until Good Friday, but it was a 
deceitful calm : my lady's jealousy was kindling, for Captain Levison's 
attentions to Isabel were driving her wild. At Christmas his admira- 
tion had been open enough, but it was more so now. Better from any 
one else could Lady Mount Severn have borne this than from Francis 
Levison. She had suffered the young Guardsman, cousin though he 
was, to grow rather dear to her ; dangerously dear it might have become 
had she been a less cautious woman. More welcome to her that all the 
world, rather than he, had given admiration to Isabel. Why did she 
have him there, throwing him into Isabel's companionship, as she had 
done the previous year in London, asks the reader. It is more than 
1 can tell ; why do people do foohsh things ? 

On Good Friday afternoon, Isabel strolled out with little William 
Vane : Captain Levison joined they, and they never came in until 
nearly dinner-time, when the three entered together, Lady Mount 
Severn doing penance all the time, and nursing her rage against Isabel, 
for Mrs. Levison kept her indoors. There was barely time to dress 
for dinner, and Isabel went straight to her room. Her dress was off, her 
dressing-gown on, Marvel was busy with her hair, and William chatter- 
ing at her knee, when the door was flung open, and my lady entered. 

'' Where have you been ? " demanded she, shaking with passion. 
Isabel knew the signs. 

'' Strolling about in the shrubberies and grounds," answered Isabel. 

" How dare you disgrace yourself? " 

" I do not understand you," said Isabel, her heart beginning to beat 
unpleasantly. " Marvel, you are pulling my hair." 

When women, liable to intemperate fits of passion, give the reins to 
them, they neither know nor care what they say. Lady Mount Severn 
broke into a torrent of reproach and abuse, most degrading and un- 
justifiable. 



84 EAST LYNNE. 

" Is it not sufficient that you are allowed an asylum in my house, 
but you must also disgrace it ? Three hours have you been hiding 
yourself with Francis Levison ! You have done nothing but flirt with 
him from the moment he arrived ; you did nothing else at Christmas." 

The attack was longer and broader, but that was the substance of 
it, and Isabel was goaded to resistance, to anger little less great than 
that of the countess. This ! — and before her attendant ! She, an carl's 
daughter, so much better born than Emma Mount Severn, to be thus 
insultingly accused in the other's mad jealousy. Isabel tossed her hair 
from the hands of Marvel, rose up, and confronted the countess, con- 
straining her voice to calmness. 

" I do not flirt," she said ; " I have never flirted. I leave that " — and 
she could not wholly suppress in tone the scorn she felt — " to married 
women : though it seems to me that it is a fault less venial in them 
than in single ones. There is but one inmate of this house who flirts, 
so far as I have seen since I have lived in it : it is you, not I, Lady 
Mount Severn." 

The home truth told on her ladyship. She turned white with rage, 
forgot herself, and, raising her right hand, struck Isabel a stinging 
blow upon the left cheek. Confused and terrified, Isabel stood in 
pain, and before she could speak or act, my lady's left hand was raised 
to the other cheek, and a blow left on that. Lady Isabel shivered as 
with a sudden chill, and cried out, a sharp, quick cry ; covered her 
outraged face and sank down upon the dressing-chair. Marvel threw 
up her hands in dismay, and William Vane could not have burst into 
a louder roar had he been beaten himself. The boy was of a sensitive 
nature — and he was frightened. 

Lady Mount Severn finished up the scene by boxing William for his 
noise, jerked him out of the room, and told him he was a monkey. 

Isabel Vane lay through the livelong night, weeping tears of anguish 
and indignation. She could not remain at Castle Marling : who would 
do so, after so great an outrage ? — Yet, where was she to go ? Fifty 
times in the course of the night did she wish that she was laid beside 
her father ; for her feelings obtained the mastery of her reason : in her 
calm moments she would have shrunk from the idea of death, as the 
young and healthy must do. Various schemes crossed her brain : that 
she would take flight to France, and lay her case before Mount Severn ; 
that she would beg an asylum with old Mrs. Levison ; that she would 
find out Mason, and live with her. Daylight rejected them all. She 
had not flirted with Captain Levison, but she had received his atten- 
tion, and suffered his admiration : a woman never flirts where she 
loves ; and it had come to love, or something very near it, in Isabel's 
heart. 

She rose on the Saturday morning, weak and languid, the effects of 
the night of grief, and Marvel brought her breakfast up. William 
Vane stole into her room afterwards : he was attached to her in a 
remarkable degree. 

" Mamma's going out," he exclaimed in the course of the morning. 
" Look, Isabel." 

Isabel went to the window. Lady Mount Severn was in the pony 
carriage, Francis Levison driving. 



LIFE AT CASTLE MARLING. 85 

"We can go down now, Isabel. No one will be there." 

She assented, and went down with William. But scarcely were they 
in the drawing-room when a servant entered with a card on a salver. 

" A gentleman, my lady, wishes to see you." 

"To see me?" returned Isabel, in surprise. "Or Lady Mount 
Severn ? " 

"He asked for you, my lady." 

She took up the card. " Mr. Carlyle." " Oh ! " she uttered, in a 
tone of joyful surprise, "show him in." 

It is curious, nay, appalling, to trace the thread of a human life ; 
how the most trivial occurrences 'ead to the great events of existence, 
bringing forth happiness or misery, weal or woe. A client of Mr. 
Carlyle's, travelling from one part of England to the other, was 
arrested by illness at Castle Marling ; grave illness it appeared to be, 
inducing fears of death. He had not, as the phrase goes, settled his 
affairs, and Mr. Carlyle was telegraphed for in haste, to make his will, 
and for other private matters. This journey appeared to Mr. Carlyle 
a very simple occurrence, and yet it was destined to lead to events that 
would end only with his ov.'n life. 

Mr. Carlyle entered, unaffected and gentlemanly as ever, with his 
noble form, his attractive face, and his drooping eyelids. She 
advanced to meet him, holding out her hand, her countenance betray- 
ing her pleasure. " This is indeed unexpected," she exclaimed. " How 
very gkvd I am to see you ! " 

" Business brought me yesterday to Castle Marling. I could not 
leave it again without calling on you. I hear that Lord Mount Severn 
is absent." 

" He is in France," she rejoined. " I said we should be sure to meet 
again : do you remember, Mr. Carlyle? You " 

Isabel suddenly stopped, for with the word "remember;" she also 
remembered something — the hundred-pound note ; and what she was 
saying faltered on her tongue. She grew confused, indeed, for alas ! 
she had changed and partly spent it. How was it possible to ask 
Lady Mount Severn for money ? and the earl was nearly always 
away. Mr. Carlyle saw her embarrassment, though he did not detect 
its cause. 

" What a fine boy ? " exclaimed he, looking at the child. 

"It is Lord Vane," said Isabel. 

" A truthful, earnest spirit, I am sure," he continued, gazing at his 
open countenance. " How old are you, my httle man ? " 

" I am six, sir ; and my brother was four." 

Isabel bent over the child ; an excuse to cover her embarrassment. 
" You do not know this gentleman, William. It is Mr. Carlyle, and he 
has been very kind to me." 

The little lord turned his thoughtful eyes on Mr. Carlyle, apparently 
studying his countenance. " I shall like you, sir, if you are kind to 
Isabel. Are you kind to her ? " 

"Ver)', very kind," murmured Isabel, leaving William and turning 
to Mr. Carlyle, but not looking at him. " I don't know what to say ; 
I ought to thank you ; I did not intend to use the — to use it — 
but I— I- — ...» 



86 EAST LYNNE. 

" Hush! "he interrupted, laughing at her confusioii ; " I do not know 
what you are talking of. I have a great misfortune to break to you, 
Lady Isabel." 

She lifted her eyes and her glowing cheeks, somewhat aroused from 
her own thoughts. 

" Two of your fish are dead. The gold ones." 

" Are they ? " 

" I believe the frost killed them ; I don't know what else it could 
have been. You may remember those bitter days we had in January : 
they died then." 

" You are very good to take care of them, all this time. How is East 
Lynne looking ? Dear East Lynne ! Is it occupied ? " 

" Not yet. I have spent some money upon it, and it repays the 
outlay." 

The excitement of his arrival had worn off, and she was looking 
herself again, pale and sad . he could not help observing that she was 
changed. 

" I cannot expect to look so well at Castle Marling as I did at East 
Lynne," she answered. 

" 1 trust it is a happy home to you ? " said Mr. Carlyle, speaking 
upon impulse. 

She glanced up at him, a look that he would never forget : it 
certainly told of despair. " No," she said, shaking her head, " it is a 
miserable home, and I cannot remain in it. I have been awake all 
night, thinking where I can go, but I cannot tell. I have not a friend 
in the wide world." 

Never let people talk secrets before children, for be assured that 
they understand a great deal more than is imagined : the saying that 
" Little pitchers have great ears " is wonderfully true. Lord Vane held 
up his head to Mr. Carlyle. 

" Isabel told me this morning that she should go away from us. 
Shall I tell you why ? Mamma beat her yesterday when she was 
angry." 

" Be quiet, William ! " interrupted Lady Isabel, her fi\ce flaming. 

" Two great slaps upon her cheeks," continued the young viscount ; 
"and Isabel cried so, and I screamed, and then mamma hit me. But 
boys are made to be hit ; nurse says they are. Marvel came into the 
nursery when we were at tea, and told nurse about it. She says 
Isabel's too good-looking, and that's why mamma " 

Isabel stopped the child's tongue, rang a peal at the bell, and 
marshalled him to the door ; despatching him to the nursery by the 
servant who answered it. 

Mr. Carlyle's eyes were full of indignant sympathy. " Can this be 
trv.e .'' " he asked, in a low tone, when she returned to him. " You do 
indeed want a friend." 

" I must bear my lot," she replied, obeying the impulse which 
prompted her to confide in Mr. Carlyle. " At least till Lord Mount 
Severn returns." 

"And then?" 

" I really do not know," she said, the rebellious tears rising faster 
than she could choke them down. " He has no other home to offer 



LIFE AT CASTLE MARLLNG. 87 

me ; but with Lady Mount Severn I cannot and will not remain. 
She would break my heart, as she has already well-nigh broken my 
spirit. 1 have not deserved it of her, Mr. Carlyle." 

" No, I am sure you have not," he warmly answered. " I wish I 
could help you ! What can I do ?" 

" You can do nothing," she said. " What can any one do ? " 

" I wish, I wish I could help you ! " he repeated. " East Lynne was 
not, take it for all in all, a pleasant home to you, but it seems you 
changed for the worse when you left it." 

" Not a pleasant home ! " she echoed, its reminiscences appearing 
delightful in that moment, for it must be remembered that all things 
are estimated by comparison. " Indeed it was ; I may never have so 
pleasant a one again. Oh, Mr. Carlyle, do not disparage East Lynne 
to me ! Would I could awake, and find the last few months but a 
hideous dream ! — that I could find my dear father alive again ! — that 
we were still living peacefully at East Lynne ! It would be a very 
Eden to me now." 

What was Mr. Carlyle about to say ? What emotion was it that 
agitated his countenance, impeded his breath, and dyed his face 
blood-red ? His better genius was surely not watching over him, or 
those words had never been spoken. 

" There is but one way," he began, taking her hand and nervously 
playing with it, probably unconscious that he did so ; " only one way 
in which you could return to East Lynne. And that way — I may not 
presume, perhaps, to point it out." 

She looked at him, and waited for an explanation. 

"If my words offend you, Lady Isabel, check them, as their pre- 
sumption deserves, and pardon me. May I — dare I — oftcr you to 
return to East Lynne as its mistress?" 

She did not comprehend him in the slightest degree ; the drift of 
his meaning never dawned upon her. " Return to East Lynne as its 
mistress .-"" she repeated, in bewilderment. 

" And as my wife." 

No possibility of misunderstanding him now, and the shock and 
surprise were great. She had stood there by Mr. Carlyle's side, con- 
versing confidentially with him, esteeming him greatly, feeling as if he 
were her truest friend on earth, clinging to him in her heart, as to a 
haven of refuge, loving him almost as she would love a brother, 
suffering her hand to remain in his. But to be his loifc ! — The idea 
had never presented itself to her in any shape until this moment, 
and her first emotion was one of entire opposition, her first movement 
to express it, as she essayed to withdraw herself and her hand away 
from him. 

But Mr. Carlyle did not suffer it. He not only retained that hand, 
but took the other also, and spoke, now the ice was broken, eloquent 
words of love. Not unmeaning phrases of rhapsody, about hearts and 
darts and dying for her, as some one else might have spoken ; but 
earnest-hearted words of deep tenderness, calculated to win upon the 
mind's good sense, as well as upon the ear and heart. And, it may be, 
that had her imagination not been filled up with that " some one else," 
she would have said " Yes " there and tlitn. 



88 EAST LYNNE. 

They were suddenly interrupted. Lady Mount Severn entered, and 
took in the scene at a glance : Mr. Carlyle's bent attitude of devotion, 
his imprisonment of the hands, and Isabel's perplexed and blushing 
countenance. She threw up her head and her little inquisitive nose, 
and stopped short on the carpet ; her freezing looks demanding an 
explanation, as plainly as looks can do so. Mr. Carlyle turned to her, 
and, by way of sparing Isabel, proceeded to introduce himself. Isabel 
had just presence of mind left to name her : " Lady Mount Severn." 

" I am sorry that Lord Mount Severn should be absent, to whom I 
have the honour of being known," he said. " I am Mr. Carlyle." 

" I have heard of you," replied her ladyship, scanning his good looks, 
and feeling cross that his homage should be given where she saw it 
was given : "but I had not heard that you and Lady Isabel Vane were 
on the extraordinary terms of intimacy that — that " 

" Madam," he interrupted, as he handed a chair to her ladyship and 
took another himself, " we have never yet been on terms of extraordi- 
nary intimacy. I was begging the Lady Isabel to grant that we might 
become so : I was asking her to become my wife." 

The avowal was as a shower of incense to the countess, and her ill- 
humour melted into sunshine. It was a solution to her great difficulty, 
a loophole by which she might get rid of her bete 7ioir^, the hated 
Isabel. A flush of gratification lighted her face, and she became full 
of graciousness to Mr. Carlyle. 

" How v^ery grateful Isabel must feel to you," quoth she. " I speak 
openly, Mr. Carlyle, because I know that you were cognizant of the 
unprotected state in which she was left by the earl's improvidence, 
placing marriage for her, at any rate a high marriage, almost out of 
the question. East Lynne is a beautiful place, I have heard." 

" For its size ; it is not large," replied Mr. Carlyle, as he rose ; for 
Isabel had also risen and was coming forward. 

" And pray what is Lady Isabel's answer?" quickly asked the coun- 
tess, turning to her. 

Not to her did Isabel condescend to give an answer, but she 
approached Mr. Carlyle, and spoke in a low tone. 

" Will you give me a few hours for consideration ? " 

" I am only too happy that you should accord it consideration, for it 
speaks to me of hope," was his reply, as he opened the door for her to 
pass out. " I will be here again this afternoon." 

It was a perplexing debate that Lady Isabel held with herself in 
the solitude of her chamber, whilst Mr. Carlyle touched upon ways 
and means to Lady Mount Severn. Isabel was little more than a 
child, and as a child she reasoned, looking neither far nor deep : the 
shallow, palpable aspect of affairs alone presenting itself to her view. 
That Mr. Carlyle was not of rank equal to her own, she scarcely re- 
membered : East Lynne seemed a very fair settlement in life, and in 
point of size, beauty, and importance, it was superior to the home she 
was now in. She forgot that her position at East Lynne as Mr. 
Carlyle's wife would not be what it had been as Lord Mount Severn's 
daughter ; she forgot that she should be tied to a quiet home, shut 
out from the great world, from the pomps and vanities to which she 
was born. She liked Mr. Carlyle much, she liked to be with him, she 



LIFE AT CASTLE MARLING. 89 

experienced pleasure in conversing with him ; in short, but for that 
other ill-omened fancy which had crept over her, there would have 
been a danger of her falling in love with Mr. Carlylc. And oh ! to be 
removed for ever from the bitter dependence on Lady Mount Severn 
— East Lynnc would, after that, seem what she had called it, Eden. 

" So far it appears favourable," mentally exclaimed poor Isabel, " but 
there is the other side of the question. It is not only that I clo not 
love Mr. Carlyle, but I fear I do love, or very nearly love, Francis 
Levison. I wish he would ask me to be his wife ! — or that I had 
never seen him." 

Isabel's soliloquy was interrupted by the entrance of Mrs. Levison 
and the countess. What the latter had said to the old lady to win 
her over to the cause, was best known to herself, but she was eloquent in 
it. They both used every possible argument to induce her to accept 
Mr. Carlyle : the old lady declaring that he was worth a dozen empty- 
headed men of the great world. 

Isabel listened, now swayed one way, now the other, and when the 
afternoon came, her head was aching with perplexity. The stumbling- 
block that she could not get over was Francis Levison. She saw Mr. 
Carlyle's approach from her window, and went down to the drawing- 
room, not in the least knowing what her reply was to be. A shadowy 
idea was presenting itself that she would ask him for longer time, and 
write her answer. 

In the drawing-room was Francis Levison, and her heart beat 
wildly : which said beating might have convinced her that she ought 
not to marry another. 

" Where have you been hiding yourself? " cried he. " Did you hear 
of our mishap with the pony carriage ? " 

" No," was her answer. 

" I was driving Emma into town. The pony took fright, kicked, 
plunged, and went down upon his knees ; she took fright in her turn, 
got out, and walked back. I gave the brute some chastisement and 
a race, and brought him to the stables, getting home in time to be 
introduced to Mr. Carlyle. He seems an out-and-out good fellow, 
Isabel, and I congratulate you." 

She looked up at him. 

" Don't start. We are all in the family, and my lady told me ; I 
won't betray it abroad. She says East Lynne is a place to be coveted. 
I wish you happiness, Isabel." 

" Thank you," she returned, in a sarcastic tone, though her throat 
beat and her lips quivered. " You are premature in your congratula- 
tions, Captain Levison." 

" Am I } Keep my good wishes, then, till the right man comes. I 
am beyond the pale myself, and dare not think of entering the happy 
state," he added, in a pointed tone. " I have indulged dreams of it, 
like others, but I cannot afford to indulge them seriously : a poor 
man, with uncertain prospects, can only play the butterfly, perhaps 
to his hfe's end." 

He quitted the room as he spoke. It was impossible for Isabel to 
misunderstand him, but a feeling shot across her mind, for the first 
time, that he was false and heartless. One of the servants appeared, 



go EAST LYNNE. 

showing in Mr. Carlyle : nothing false or heartless about him. He 
closed the door, and approached her. She did not speak, and her lips 
were white and trembling. Air. Carlyle waited. 

" Well ? " he said at length, in a gentle tone. " Have you decided to 
grant my prayer ? " 

" Yes. But " She could not go on. What with one agitation and 

another, she had difficulty in conquering her emotion. " But — I was 
going to tell you " 

" Presently," he whispered, leading her to a sofa ; " we can both 
afford to wait now. Isabel, you have made me very happy ! " 

" I ought to tell you, I must tell you," she began again, in the midst 
of hysterical tears. "Though I have said 'Yes' to your proposal, I do 
not — yet — It has come upon me by surprise," she stammered. " I like 
you very much ; I esteem and respect you : but I do not yet love you." 

" I should wonder if you did. But you will let me earn your love, 
Isabel?" 

" Oh yes," she earnestly answered. " I hope so." 

He drew her closer to him, bent his face, and took from her lips his 
first kiss. Isabel was passive ; she supposed he had gained the right 
to do so. " My dearest ! it is all I ask ! " 

Mr. Carlyle stayed over the following day, and before he departed, 
in the evening, arrangements had been discussed. The marriage was 
to take place immediately : all concerned had a motive for hurrying it 
on.' Mr. Carlyle was anxious that the fair flower should be his ; 
Isabel was sick of Castle Marling, sick of some of the people in it ; 
my lady was sick of Isabel. In less than a month it was to be, and 
Francis Levison sneered over the " indecent haste." Mr. Carlyle wrote 
to the earl. Lady Mount Severn announced that she should present 
Isabel with her trousseau, and wrote to London to order it. It is a 
positive f;ict that when he was taking leave of Isabel she clung to him. 

" I wish I could take you now, my darling," he uttered. " I cannot 
bear to leave you here." 

" I wish you could ! " she sighed. " You have seen only the sunny 
side of Lady Mount Severn." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

MR. dill's shaking. 



The sensations of Mr. Carlyle when he returned to West Lynne were 
very much like those of an Eton boy, who knows he has been in mis- 
chief, and dreads detection. Always open as to his own affairs, for 
he had nothing to conceal, he yet deemed it expedient to dissemble 
now. He felt that his sister would be bitter at the prospect of his 
marrying ; instinct had taught him that, years ago ; and he believed 
that, of all women, the most olajectionablc to her would be Lady 
Isabel, for Miss Carlyle looked to the useful, and had neither sym- 
pathy nor admiration for the beautiful. He was not sure but she 
might be capable of endeavouring to frustrate the marriage, should 
news of it reach her cars, and her indomitable will had carried many 



MR. DILL'S SHAKING. gr 

strange things in her life : therefore you will not blame Mr. Carlyle 
for observing entire reticence as to his future plans. 

A family of the name of Carew had been about to take East Lynne : 
they wished to rent it, furnished, for three years. Upon some of the 
minor arrangements they and Mr. Carlyle were opposed, but the latter 
declined to give way. During his absence at Castle Marling, news 
had arrived from them; they acceded to all his terms, and would enter 
upon East Lynne as soon as was convenient. Miss Carlyle was full of 
congratulation ; it was off their hands, she said ; but the first letter 
Mr. Carlyle wrote was — to decline them. He did not tell this to Miss 
Carlyle. The final touches of the house were given, preparatory to 
the reception of its inhabitants, and three maid and two men-servants 
hired and sent there, upon board wages, until the family should arrive. 

One evening, three weeks after Mr. Carlyle's visit to Castle 
Marling, Barbara Hare called at i\Iiss Carlyle's, and found them going 
to tea, much earlier than usual. 

"We dined earlier," said Miss Corny, "and I ordered tea in as soon 
as dinner went away. Otherwise Archibald would have taken none." 

" I am as well without tea," said he. " 1 have still a mass of business 
to get through." 

" You are not so well without it," cried Miss Corny, " and I don't 
choose that you should go without it. Take off your bonnet, Barbara. 
He does things like no one else ; he is off to Castle Marling to-morrow, 
and could never open his lips until just now to say so." 

" Is that invalid — Brev/ster, or whatever his name is — laid up at 
Castle Marling still?" asked Barbara. 

" He is there still," said Mr. Carlyle. 

Barbara sat down to the tea-table, though protesting that she ought 
not to remain, for she had told her mamma she should be home to 
make tea. Miss Carlyle interrupted what she was saying, by telling 
her brother that she should go presently and pack his things. 

" Oh no," returned he, with alarming ciuickness, " I will pack them 
myself, thank you. Peter, you can put the portmanteau in my room. 
The large one." 

" The large one ! " echoed Miss Corny, who could never let anything 
pass without her interference ; " why, it's as big as a house. What in 
the world can you want dragging that with you.'"' 

" I have papers and things to take, besides clothes." 

" I am sure I could pack all your things in the small one," persisted 
Miss Corny. "I'll try. You only tell me what you want put in. Take 
the small portmanteau to your master's room, Peter." 

Mr. Carlyle glanced at Peter, and Peter glanced back agnin with an 
imperceptible nod. " I prefer to pack my things myself, Cornelia. 
W"hat have you done now .'' " 

" A stupid trick," she answered— for, in fidgeting with a knife, 
Miss Cornv had cut her finger. " Have you any sticking-plaster, 
Archibald ?'" 

He opened his pocket-book, and laid it on the table while he took 
from it some black plaster. Miss Carlyle's mquisitive eyes caught 
sight of a letter lying there. Sans c&e'mom'e, she stretched out her hand, 
caught it up, and opened it. 



92 EAST LYNNE. 

" Who is this from ? It is a lady's writing." 

Tvlr. Carlyle laid his hand flat upon it, as if to hide it from her view. 
" Excuse me, Cornelia ; that is a private letter." 

" Private nonsense ! " retorted Miss Corny. " I am sure you receive 
no letters that I may not read. It bears yesterday's postmark." 

" Oblige me with the letter," he returned ; and Miss Carlyle, in her 
astonishment at the calmly authoritative tone, yielded it to him. 

" Archibald, what is the matter with you ? " 

" Nothing," answered he, returning the letter to the pocket-book, and 
putting it into his pocket, leaving out the sticking-plaster for Miss 
Corny 's benefit. " It's not fair to look into a man's private letters, is 
it, Barbara ? " 

He laughed good-humouredly as he looked at Barbara. But she 
had seen with surprise that a deep flush of emotion had risen to his 
face — he, so calm a man ! Miss Carlyle was not one to be put down 
easily, and she returned to the charge. 

" Archibald, if ever I saw the Vane crest, it is on the seal of that 
letter." 

" Whether the Vane crest is on the letter, or not, the contents of it 
were written for my eye alone," he rejoined. And somehow, Miss 
Carlyle did not like the firm tone. Barbara broke the silence. 

" Shall you call on the Mount Severns this time ? " 

" Yes," he answered. 

"Do they talk yet of Lady Isabel's marrying?" pursued Barbara. 
" Did you hear anything of it .'' " 

" I cannot charge my memory with all I heard or did not hear, Bar- 
bara. Your tea wants more sugar, does it not } " 

"A little," she answered, and Mr. Carlyle drevs^ the sugar-basin 
towards her cup, and dropped four or five large lumps into it, before 
any one could stop him. 

" What's that for ? " asked Miss Corny. 

He burst into laughter. " I forgot what I was doing. Really, 
Barbara, I beg your tea's pardon. Cornelia will give you another 
cup." 

" But it's a cup of tea and so much good sugar wasted," tartly 
responded Miss Corny. 

Barbara sprang up the moment tea was over. " I don't know what 
mamma will say to me. And it is beginning to grow dusk ! She will 
think it is late for me to be out alone." 

" Archibald can walk with you," said Miss Carlyle. 

" I don't know that," cried he, in his plain, open way. " Dill is 
waiting for me in the office, and I have some hours' work before me. 
However — I suppose you won't care to put up with Peter's attendance ; 
so make haste with your bonnet, Barbara." 

No need to tell Barbara that, when the choice between him and 
Peter depended on the speed she could exert. She wished good 
evening to Miss Carlyle, and went out with him, he taking her parasol 
from her hand. It was a calm, lovely night, very light still, and they 
went by the field way. 

Barbara could not forget Isabel Vane. She never had forgotten her, 
or the jealous feeling that arose in her heart at Mr. Carlyle's constant 



MR. DILL'S SHAKING. 93 

visits to East Lynnc when she inhabited it. She returned to the 
subject now. 

" I asked you, Archibald, whether you had heard that Lady Isabel 
was likely to marrj'." 

" And I answered you, Barbara, that my memory could not carry 
all I may have heard." 

" But did you.?" persisted Barbara. 

" You arc persevering," he smiled. " I believe Lady Isabel is likely 
to marry." 

Barbara drew a relieved sigh. " To whom ? " 

The same amused smile played on his lips. " Do you suppose I 
could put premature questions .'' I may be able to tell you more about 
it after my next return from Castle Marling." 

" Do try and find out," said she. " Perhaps it is to Lord Vane. 
Who is it says that more marriages arise from habitual association 
than " 

She stopped, for Mr. Carlyle had turned his eyes upon her, and was 
laughing. 

" You are a clever guesser, Barbara. Lord Vane is a little fellow, 
five or six years old." 

" Oh," returned Barbara, considerably discomfited. 

" And the nicest child in the world," he warmly continued : " open 
tempered, generous hearted, earnest spirited. Should I have children 
of my own," he added, switching the hedge with the parasol, and 
speaking in an abstracted manner, as if forgetful of his companion, 
" I could wish them to be like William Vane." 

" A very important confession," gaily returned Barbara, " after con- 
triving to impress West Lynne with the conviction that you would be 
an old bachelor." 

" I don't know that 1 ever promised West Lynne anything of the 
sort," cried Mr. Carlyle. 

Barbara laughed now. " I suppose West Lynne judges by appear- 
ances. When a man owns to thirty years " 

" Which I don't do," interrupted Mr. Carlyle, considerably damaging 
the hedge and the parasol. " I may be an old married man before I 
am thirty ; the chances are, that I shall be." 

" Then you must have chosen your wife," she quickly cried. 

" I do not say I have not, Barbara. All in good time to proclaim it, 
though." 

Barbara withdrew her arm from Mr. Carlyle's, under pretence of 
repinning her shawl. Her heart was beating, her whole frame tremb- 
ling, and she feared he might detect her emotion. She never thought 
he could allude to any one but herself. Poor Barbara ! 

" How flushed you look, Barbara ! " he exclaimed. " Have I walked 
too fast ? " 

She seemed not to hear, intent upon her shawl. Then she took his 
arm again, and they walked on, Mr. Carlyle striking the hedge and 
the grass more industriously than ever. Another minute, and — the 
handle was in two. 

" I thought you would do it," said Barbara, while he was regarding 
the parasol with ludicrous dismay. " Never mind ; it is an old one." 



94 EAST LYNNE. 

" I will bring you another to replace it. What is the colour ? Brown. 
I won't forget. Hold the relics a minute, Barbara." 

He put the pieces into her hand, and taking out a note-case, made a 
note in pencil. 

" What's that for ? " she inquired. 

He held it close to her eyes that she might discern what he had 
written : "Brown parasol. B. H." "A reminder for me, Barbara, in 
case I forget." 

Barbara's eye detected another item or two, already entered in the 
case. " Piano." " Plate." " I jot down the things, as they occur to me, 
that I must get in London," he explained, " Otherwise I should forget 
half of them." 

" In London ! I thought you were going in an opposite direction : 
to Castle Marling." 

It was a slip of the tongue, but Mr. Carlyle repaired it, " I may 
probably have to visit London as well as Casile Marling. How bright 
the moon looks rising there, Barbara ! " 

" So bright — that, or the sky — that I saw your secrets," answered 
she. " Piano ! Plate ! What can you want with either, Archibald ? " 

" They are for East Lynne," he quietly replied. 

" Oh, for the Carews." And Barbara's interest in the items was 
gone. 

They turned into the road just below the Grove, and reached it. 
Mr. Carlyle held the gate open for Barbara. 

" You will come in and say good night to mamma. She was saying 
to-day what a stranger you have made of yourself lately." 

" I have been busy. And I really have not the time to-night. You 
must remember me to her instead." 

He closed the gate again. But Barbara leaned over it, unwiUing to 
let him go. 

" .Shall you be away a week ? " 

" I dare say I may. Here, take the wreck of the parasol, Barbara : 
I was about to carry it off with me, I can buy you a new one without 
stealing the old one." 

"Archibald, I have long wished to ask you something," said she in 
a tone of suppressed agitation, as she took the pieces and flung them 
upon the path by the dense trees. " You will not think me foolish ? " 

" What is it ? " 

" When you gave me the gold chain and locket a year ago —you 
remember ? " 

" Yes. Well ? " 

" I put some of that hair of Richard's into it, and a bit of Anne's, and 
of mamma's ; a tiny little bit of each. And there is room for more, 
you sec." 

She held it to him as she spoke, for she always wore it round her 
neck, attached to the chain. 

" I cannot see well by this light, Barbara. If there is room for more, 
what of that ? " 

" I like to think that I possess a memento of my best friends, or of 
those who were dear to me. I wish you to give me a bit of your hair 
to put with the rest -as it was you who gave mc the locket." 



Mr. DILL'S SHAKING. 95 

" My hair ! " replied Mr. Carlyle, in a tone of as much astonishment 
as if she had asked for his head. "What good would that do you, 
Barbara, or the locket cither ? " 

Her face ikishcd painfully : her heart beat. " I like to have a 
remembrance of the friends I — I care for," she stammered. " Nothing 
more, Archibald." 

He detected neither the emotion nor the depth of feeling, the sort of 
feeling that had prompted the request, and he met it with good-natured 
ridicule. 

" What a pity you did not tell me yesterday, Barbara ! I had my 
hair cut, and might have sent you the snippings. Don't be a goose, 
child, and exalt me into a Wellington, to bestow hair and autographs. 
I can't stop a minute longer. Good night." 

He hastened away with quick strides, and Barbara covered her face 
with her hands. "What have I done? what have I done?" she re- 
iterated aloud. " Is it in his nature to be thus indifferent- — thus matter 
of fact? Has he no sentiment? But it will come. Oh, the bliss 
this night has brought forth ! There was truth in his tone beneath its 
vein of mockery, when he spoke of his chosen wife. I need not go far 
to guess who it is- -he has told no one else, and he pays attention to 
none but me. Archibald, when once I am your wife you shall know 
how fondly I love you ; you cannot know till then." 

She lifted her fair young face, beautiful in its radiance, and gazed 
at the deepening moonlight ; then turned away and pursued her path 
up the garden walk, unconscious that something, wearing a bonnet, 
pushed its head beyond the trees to steal a look after her. Barbara 
would have said less, had she di\incd there was a third party at the 
interview. 

It was three mornings after the departure of Mr. Carlyle that Mr. 
Dill appeared before Miss Carlyle, bearing a letter. She was busy 
contemplating the effect of some new muslin curtains, just put up, and 
did not pay attention to him. 

" Will you please take the letter, Miss Corneha. The postman left 
it in the office with ours. It is from Mr. Archibald." 

" Why, what has he to write to me about ? " retorted Miss Corny. 
" Does he say when he is coming home ? " 

" You had better see. Miss Cornelia. He does not say anything 
about his return in mine." 

She opened the letter, glanced at it, and sank into a chair : more 
overcome, more stupefied than she had felt in her whole life. 

Castle Mar It fig. May \st. 
" My dear Cornelia, — I was married this morning to Lady Isabel 
Vane, and hasten briefly to acquaint you with the fact. I will write 
you more fully to-morrow or the next day, and explain all things. 
" Ever your affectionate brother, 

"Archibald Carlyle." 

" It is a hoax," were the first guttural sounds that escaped from Miss 
Carlyle's throat, when speech returned to her. 
Mr. Dill only stood like a stone image. 



96 EASt LYNN£. 

" It is a hoax, I say," raved Miss Carlylc, " What are you standing 
there for, like a gander on one leg ? " she reiterated, venting her anger 
upon the unoffending man. " Is it a hoax, or is it not ? " 

" I am overdone with amazement, Miss Corny. It is not a hoax ; I 
have had a letter, too." 

"It can't be true ; it ca?i't be true. He had no more thought of 
being married when he left here, three days ago, than I have." 

" How can we tell that. Miss Corny ? How are we to know that he 
did not go to be married ? I fancy he did." 

" Go to be married ! " shrieked Miss Corny, in a passion ; " he would 
not be such a fool. And to that fine lady-child ! No, no." 

" He has sent this to be inserted in the county journals," said Mr. Dill, 
holding forth a scrap of paper. " They are married, sure enough." 

Miss Carlyle took it and held it before her ; her hand was cold as 
ice, and shook as with palsy. 

" Married.— On the ist inst., at Castle Marling, by the Chaplain to 
the Earl of Mount Severn, Archibald Carlyle, Esquire, of East Lynne, 
to the Lady Isabel Mary Vane, only child of William, late Earl of 
Mount Severn." 

Miss Carlyle tore the paper to atoms and scattered it. Mr. Dill 
afterwards made copies from memory, and sent them to the journal 
offices. But let that pass. 

" I will never forgive him," she deliberately uttered ; " and I will 
never forgive or tolerate her. The senseless idiot ! to go and marry 
Mount Severn's expensive daughter ! a thing who goes to court in 
feathers and a train — streaming out three yards behind her ! " 

" He is not an idiot. Miss Cornelia." 

" He is worse ; he is a wicked madman," she retorted, in a state 
midway between rage and tears. "He must have been stark staring 
mad to go and do it ; and had I gathered an inkling of the project I 
would have taken out a commission of lunacy against him. Ay, you 
may stare, old Dill, but I would, as truly as I hope to have my sins 
forgiven. Where are they to live ? " 

" I expect they will live at East Lynne." 

"What?" screamed Miss Corny. "Live at East Lynne with the 
Carews ! You are going mad too, I think." 

" The negotiation with the Carews is at an end. Miss Cornelia. 
When Mr. Archibald returned from Castle Marling at Easter, he wrote 
to decline them. I saw the copy of the letter in the copying-book. 
I expect he had settled matters then with Lady Isabel, and had decided 
to keep East Lynne for himself." 

Miss Carlyle's mouth had opened with consternation. Recovering 
partially, she rose from her scat, and drawing herself to her full and 
majestic height, she advanced behind the astounded gentleman, seized 
the collar of his coat with both hands, and shook him for several 
minutes. Poor old Dill, short and slight, was as a puppet in her 
hands, and thought his breath had gone for ever. 

" I would have taken out a lunacy commission for you also, you sly 
villain ! You are in the plot : you have been aiding and abetting 
him : you knew as much of it as he did." 

" I declare solemnly, to the (lOodness that made me, I did not," 



MR. DILL'S SHAKING. 97 

gasped the ill-treated man, when he could recover speech. " I am as 
innocent as a baby, Miss Corny. When I had the letter just now in 
the office, you might have knocked me down with a feather." 

'' What has he gone and done it for f an expensive girl without a 
shilling ! And how dared you be privy to the refusal of East Lynne 
to the Carews ? You /lave abetted him. But he never can be fool 
enough to think of living there ! " 

" I was not privy to it, Miss Corny, before it was done. And, had I 
been— I am only 'Mr. Archibald's servant. Had he not intended to 
take East Lynne for his residence, he would not announce himself as 
Archibald Carlyle, 0/ East Lynjie. And he can well afford it, Miss 
Corny ; you know he can ; and he only takes up his proper position in 
going to it," added the faithful clerk, soothingly. " And she is a svveet, 
pretty, lovable creature, though she is a noble lady." 

" I hope his folly will come home to him ! " was the wrathful re- 
joinder. 

" Heaven forbid ! " cried old Dill. 

" Idiot! idiot ! WHAT possessed him?" cried the exasperated Miss 
Corny. 

"Well, Miss Corny, I must hasten back to the office," concluded 
Mr. Dill, by v/ay of terminating the conference. "And I am truly 
vexed, ma'am, that you should have fancied there was cause to fall 
out upon me." 

" I shall do it again before the day's over, if you come in my way," 
hotly responded Miss Corny. 

She sat down as soon as she was alone, and her face assumed a 
stony, rigid look. Her hands fell upon her knees, and Mr. Carlyle's 
letter dropped to the ground. After a while her features began to 
work, and she nodded her head, and lifted, now one hand, now the 
other, apparently debating various points in her own mind. By-and- 
by she rose, attired herself in her bonnet and shawl, and took the way 
to Justice Haie's. She felt that the news which would be poured out 
to West Lynne before the day was over, did reflect a slight upon her- 
self. Her much-loved brother had forsaken her, to take to himself one 
nearer and dearer, and had done it in dissimulation : therefore she 
herself would be the first to proclaim it, far and wide. 

Barbara was at the windov/ in the usual sitting-room, as I\liss Corny 
entered the Grove, A grim smile, in spite of her outraged feelings, 
crossed that lady's lips, when she thought of the blow about to be 
dealt out to Barbara. Very clearly had she penetrated to the love of 
that young lady for Archibald ; to her hopes of becoming his wife. 

" What brings Cornelia here ? " thought Barbara, who was looking 
very pretty in her summer attire, for the weather was unusually warm, 
ana she had assumed it. " How are you 1 " she said, leaning from tlie 
window, " Would you believe it .'' the warm day has actually tempted 
mamma forth ; papa is driving her to Lynncborough. Come in ; the 
hall door is open." 

Miss Carlyle came in, without answering ; and seating herself upon 
a chair, emitted a few dismal groans, by way of preliminary. 

Barbara turned to her quickly. " Ai-e you ill? Has anything upset 
you ? " 

XastLysnc 7 



98 MST LYNNE. 

" Upset me ! you may say that," ejaculated Miss Corny, in wrath. 
" It has turned my heart and my feelings inside out. What do you 
say ? A glass of wine? Nonse^^se ! don't talk of wine to me. A heavy 
misfortune has befallen us, Barbara. Archibald " 

" Upon Archibald ! " interrupted Barbara, in her quick alarm. " Oh ! 
some accident has happened to him — to the railway train ! Perhaps 
he— he — has got his legs broken ! " 

'• J wish to my heart he had ! " warmly returned Miss Corny. " He 
and his legs are all right, more's the pity ! It is worse than <;hat, 
Barbara." 

Eai bara ran over various disasters in her mind ; and, knowing the 
bent of Miss Carlyle's disposition, began to refer to some pecuniary 
loss. " Perhaps it is about East Lynne," hazarded she. " The Carews 
may not be coming to it." 

" No, they are not coming to it," was the tart retort. " Some one 
else is, though ; my wise brother. Archibald has gone and made a 
fool of himself, Barbara, and now he is coming home to live at East 
Lynne." 

Though there was much that was unintelligible to Barbara in this, 
she could not suppress the flush of gratification that rose to her cheek 
and dyed it with blushes. " You are going to be taken down a notch 
or two, my lady," thought clear-sighted Miss Carlyle. " The news 
fell upon me this morning like a thunderbolt," she said aloud. "' Old 
Dill brought it to me. I shook him for his pains." 

" Shook old Dill ! " reiterated the wondering Barbara. 

" I shook him till my arms ached : he won't forget it in a hurry. 
He has been abetting Archibald in his wickedness ; concealing things 
from me that he ought to have come and declared ; and I am not sure 
that I can't have the two indicted for conspiracy." 

Barbara sat in amazement ; without the faintest idea of what Miss 
Corny could be driving at. 

" You remember that child. Mount Severn's daughter? I think I see 
her now, coming into the concert-room, in her white robes, and her 
jewels, and her flowing hair, looking like a young princess in a fairy- 
tale — all very well for her, for what she is, but not for us." 

" What of her ? " uttered Barbara. 
■ " Archibald has married her." 

In spite of Barbara's full consciousness that she was under the pene- 
trating eyes of Miss Corny, and in spite of her own efforts for calmness, 
every feature in her face turned to a ghastly whiteness. But, like Miss 
Carlyle, she at first took refuge in disbelief. 

" It is not true, Cornelia." 

" It is cpiite true. They were married yesterday at Castle Marling, 
by Lord Mount Severn's chaplain. Had I known it then, and could I 
have got there, I might have contrived to part them, though the Church 
ceremony had passed : I should have tried. But," added the plain- 
speaking Miss Corny, "yesterday was one thing, and to day's another ; 
and of course nothing can be done now." 

" Excuse me an instant," gasped Barbara, in a low tone ; " I forgot to 
give an order mamma left for the servants." 

An order for the servants ! She swiftly passed upstairs to her owi> 



MR. DILL'S SHAKING. 99 

room, and flung herself down on its floor in utter anguish. The past 
had cleared itself of its mists ; the scales that were before Barbara's 
eyes had fallen from them. She saw now that while she had cherished 
false and delusive hopes in her almost idolatrous passion for Archibald 
Carlyle, she had never been cared for by him. Even the previous 
night she had lain awake some of its hours, indulging dreams of the 
sweetest phantasy — and that was the night of his wedding-day ! With 
a sharp wail of despair, Barbara flung her arms up and closed her aching 
eyes : she knew that from that hour her life's sunshine had departed. 

The cry had been louder than she heeded, and one of the maids, 
who was outside the door, opened it gently and looked in. There lay 
Barbara, and there was no mistaking that she lay in dire anguish ; not 
of body, but of mind. The servant judged it an inopportune moment 
to intrude, and quickly reclosed the door. 

Barbara heard the click of the latch, and it recalled her to herself ; 
recalled her to reality ; to the necessity of outwardly surmounting the 
distress at the present moment. She rose up, drank a glass of water, 
mechanically smoothed her hair and her brow, so contracted with pain, 
and forced her manner to calmness. 

" Married to another ! married to another ! " she moaned, as she 
went down the stairs, "and, that other, her! Oh, fortitude! oh, dis- 
simulation ! at least come to my aid before his sister ! " 

There was actually a smile on her face as she entered the room. 
Miss Carlyle opened her grievance again without delay, as if to com- 
pensate for the few minutes' imposed silence. 

" As sure as we are living here, I would have tried for a commission 
of lunacy against him, had I known this, and so I told Dill. Better 
have confined him as a harmless lunatic for a couple of years, than 
suffer him to go free and obtain his fling in this mad manner. I never 
thought he would marry ; I have warned him against it ever since he 
was in leading-strings." 

" It is an unsuitable match," said Barbara. 

" It is just as suitable as Beauty and the Beast in the children's 
story. She, a high-born beauty, brought up to revel in expense, in 
jewels, in feasts, in show ; and he, a — a — a — dull bear of a lawyer, 
like the beast in the tale." 

Had Barbara been less miserable she would have laughed outright. 
Miss Carlyle continued : 

" I have taken my resolution. I go to East Lynne to-morrow, and 
discharge those five dandies of servants. I was up there on Saturday, 
and there were all three of my damsels decked out in fine mousseline- 
de-laine gowns, with peach bows in their caps, and the men in 
striped jackets, playing at footmen. Had I known then that they 
were Archibald's servants and not hired for the Carews ! " 

Barbara said nothing. 

" I shall go up and dismiss the lot, and remove myself and my servants 
to East Lynne, and let my own house furnished. Exoenses will be 
great enough with her extravagant habits ; too great to keep on two 
households. And a fine sort of household Archibald would have of it 
at East Lynne, with that ignorant baby, befrilled, and bejewelled, and 
becurled, to direct it." 



lOO EAST LYNNE. 

" But will she like that ? " 

" If she does not like it, she can lump it," replied Miss Carlyle. 
" And now that I have told you the news, Barbara, I am going back 
again ; and I had almost as soon have had to tell you that he was in 
his coffin." 

" Are you sure you are not jealous ? " asked Barbara, some uncon- 
trollable impulse prompting her to say it. 

" Perhaps I am," returned Miss Carlyle, with asperity. " Perhaps, 
had you brought up a lad as I have brought up Archibald, and loved 
nothing else in the world, far or near, you would be jealous, when you 
found him discarding you with contemptuous indifference, and taking 
a young wife to his bosom, to be more to him than you had been." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE EARL'S ASTONISHMENT. 



The announcement of the marriage in the newspapers was the first 
intimation of it Lord Mount Severn received. He was little less 
thunderstruck than Miss Corny, and came steaming to England the 
same day, thereby missing his wife's letter, which gave her version of 
the affair. He met Mr. Carlyle and Lady Isabel in London, where 
they were staying, at one of the West-end hotels, for a day or two : they 
were going fiirther. Isabel was alone wh-^n the earl was announced. 

"What is the meaning of this, Isabel?" began he, without circum- 
locution or greeting. " You are married ! " 

" Yes," she answered, with her pretty, innocent blush. " Some days 
ago." 

"And to Carlyle the lawyer I How did it come about.?" 

Isabel began to think how it had come about, sufficiently to give a 
clear answer. "He asked me," she said, " and I accepted him. He 
came to Castle Marling at Easter, and asked me then. I was very 
much surprised." 

The earl looked at her attentively. " Why was I kept in ignorance 
of this, Isabel?" 

" I did not know you were kept in ignorance of it. Mr. Carlyle 
wrote to you, as did Lady Mount Severn." 

Lord Mount Severn was as a man in the dark, and looked like it. 
" I suppose this comes," soliloquized he aloud, "of your father's having 
allowed the gentleman to dance daily attendance at East Lynne. And 
so you fell in love with him." 

" Indeed no," answered she, in an amused tone. "I never thought 
of such a thing as falling in love with Mr. Carlyle." 

" Then don't you love him ? " abruptly asked the earl. 

"No!" she whispered, timidly. "But I like him much — oh, very 
much. And he is so good to me ! " 

The earl stroked his chin, and mused. Isabel had destroyed the 
only conclusion he had been able to come to, as to the motives for the 
hasty marriage. " If you do not love Mr. Carlyle, how comes it that 



THE EARL'S ASTONISHMENT. loi 

you are so wise in the distinction between " liking " and " love " ? It 
cannot be that you love any one else ! " 

The question told home, and Isabel turned crimson. " I shall love 
my husband in time," was all she answered, as she bent her head, and 
played nervously with her watch-chain. 

" My poor child ! " mvoluntarily exclaimed the earl. But he was 
one who hked to fathom the depth of everything. "Who has been 
staying at Castle Marling since I left ? " he asked sharply. 

" Mrs. Levison came down." 

" I alluded to gentlemen — ^young men." 

*' Only Francis Levison," she replied. 

" Francis Levison ! You have never been so foolish as to fall in 
love him hitn ! " 

The question was so pointed, so abrupt, and Isabel's self-conscious- 
ness moreover so great, that she betrayed lamentable confusion ; and 
the earl had no further need to ask. Pity stole into his hard eyes as 
they fixed themselves on her downcast glowing face. 

" Isabel," he gravely began, " Captain Levison is not a good man. 
If ever you were inclined to think him one, dispossess your mind of 
the idea, and hold him at arm's distance. Drop his acquaintance ; 
encourage no intimacy with him." 

" I have already dropped it," said Isabel, " and I shall not take it up 
again. But Lady Mount Severn must think well of him, or she would 
not have him there." 

" She thinks none too well of him ; none can do so of Francis 
Levison," returned the earl, significantly. " He is her cousin, and is 
one of those idle, vain, empty-headed flatterers whom it is her pleasure 
to group about her. Do you be wiser, Isabel. But this does not solve 
the enigma of your marriage with Carlyle ; on the contrary, it renders 
it the more unaccountable. He must have cajoled you into it." 

Before Isabel could reply, Mr. Carlyle entered. He held out his 
hand to the earl : the earl did not appear to see it. 

" Isabel," said he, " I am sorry to turn you out ; I suppose you have 
only this one sitting-room. I wish to say a few words to Mr. Carlyle." 

She left them, and the earl wheeled round and faced Mr. Carlyle, 
speaking in a stern, haughty tone. 

"How came this marriage about, sir? Do you possess so little 
honour, that, taking advantage of my absence, you must intrude 
yourself into my family, and clandestinely espouse Lady Isabel Vane?" 

Mr. Carlyle stood confounded, 7iot confused. He drew himself up 
to his full height, looking every whit as fearless, and far more noble 
than the peer. " My lord, I do not understand you." 

" Yet I epeak plainly. What is it but a clandestine procedure, to 
take advantage of a guardian's absence, and beguile a young girl into 
a marriage beneath her ? " 

" There has been nothing clandestine in my conduct towards Lady 
Isabel Vane ; there shall be nothing but honour in my conduct towards 
Lady Isabel Carlyle. Your lordship has been misinformed." 

" I have not been informed at all," retorted the earl. " I was allowed 
to learn this from the public papers; I, the only relative of Lady 
Isabel" 



103 EAST LYNNE. 

"When I proposed for Lady Isabel " 

" Only a month ago," sarcastically interrupted the earl. 

" Only a month ago," calmly repeated Mr. Carlyle, " my first action, 
after Isabel accepted me, was to write to you. But that I imagine 
you may not have received the letter, by stating you first heard of our 
marriage through the papers, I should say the want of courtesy lay on 
your lordship's side, for having vouchsafed me no reply to it." 

" What were the contents of the letter ? " 

" I stated what had occurred, mentioning what I was able to do in 
the way of settlements, also that both Isabel and myself wished that 
the ceremony might take place as soon as possible." 

" And pray where did you address the letter ? " 

" Lady Mount Severn could not give me the address. She said, if I 
would intrust the letter to her she would forward it, for she expected 
daily to hear from you. I did give her the letter, and I heard no more 
of the matter, except that her ladyship sent me a message, when Isabel 
was writing to me, that as you had returned no reply, you of course 
approved." 

" Is this fact?" cried the earl. 

" My lord ! " coldly replied Mr. Carlyle. " Whatever may be my 
defects in your eyes, I am at least a man of truth. Until this moment, 
the suspicion that you were in ignorance of the contemplated marriage 
never occurred to me." 

" So far, then, I beg your pardon, Mr. Carlyle. But how came the 
marriage about at all.'' — how came it to be hurried over in this un- 
seemly fashion ? You made the offer at Easter, Isabel tells me, and 
you married her three weeks after it." 

" And I would have manried her and brought her away the day I 
did make it, had it been practicable," returned Mr.. Carlyle. " I have 
acted throughout for her comfort and happiness." 

" Oh, indeed ! " returned the earl, returning to his disagreeable tone. 
" Perhaps you will put me in possession of the facts, and of your 
motives." 

" I warn you that the facts, to you, will not bear a pleasant sound, 
Lord Mount Severn." 

" Allow me to be the judge of that," said the earl. 

" Business took me to Castle Marling on Good Friday On the 
following day I called at your house : after your own and Isabel's 
invitation, it was natural that I should call : in fact, it would have been 
a breach of good feeling not to do so. I found Isabel ill-treated and 
miserable : far from enjoying a happy home in your house " 

" What, sir?" interrupted the earl. " Ill-treated and miserable 1 " 

" Ill-treated even to blows, my lord." 

The carl stood as one petrified, staring at Mr. Carlyle. 

" I learned it, I must premise, through the chattering revelations of 
your little son ; Isabel of course would not have mentioned it to me ; 
but when the child had spoken, she did not deny it. In short, she 
was too broken-hearted, too completely bowed in spirit, to deny it. 
It aroused all my feelings of indignation : it excited in me an irre- 
sistible desire to emancipate her from this cruel life, and take her 
where she would find affecliun and I hope -happiness. There was 



THE EARL'S ASTONISHMENT. 103 

only one way in which I could do this, and I risked it. I asked her 
to become my wife, and to rctiu-n to her home at East Lynne." 

The earl was slowly recovering from his petrifaction. " Then — am 
I to understand that, when you called that day at my house, you 
carried no intention with you of proposing to Isabel ? " 

'"Not any. It was a sudden step, called forth by the circumstances 
under which I found her." 

The earl paced the room, perplexed still, and evidently disturbed. 
" May I inquire if you love her," he abruptly said. 

Mr. Carlyle paused ere he spoke, and a red flush dyed his face. 
*' Those are feelings man rarely acknowledges to man, Lord Mount 
Severn, but I will answer you. I do love her passionately and 
sincerely. I learnt to love her at East Lynne ; but I could have carried 
my love silently within me to the end of my life, and never betrayed it, 
but for that unexpected visit to Castle Marling. If the idea of making 
her my wife had not previously occui'red to me as practicable, it was 
that I deemed her rank incompatible with my own." 

" As it was," said the earl. 

" Country solicitors have married peers' daughters before now," 
remarked Mr. Carlyle. " I only add another to the hst." 

" But you cannot keep her as a peer's daughter, I presume .'' " 

" East Lynne will be her home. Our establishment will be small 
and quiet, as compared with her father's. I explained to Isabel how 
quiet at the first, and she might have retracted, had she wished : I 
explained also in full to Lady Mount Severn. East Lynne will descend 
to our eldest son, should we have children. My profession is most 
lucrative, my income good : were I to die to-morrow, Isabel would 
enjoy East Lynne, and about three thousand a year. I gave these 
details in the letter which appears to have miscarried." 

The earl made no immediate reply ; he was absorbed in thought. 

" Your lordship perceives, I hope, that there has been nothing 
'clandestine > in my conduct to Lady Isabel." 

Lord Mount Severn held out his hand, " I refused your hand when 
I came in, Mr. Carlyle, as you may have observed ; perhaps you will 
refuse yours now, though I should be proud to shake it. When I 
find myself in the wrong, I am not above acknowledging the fact : 
and I must state my opinion that you have behaved most kindly and 
honourably." 

Mr. Carlyle smiled and put his hand into the earl's. The latter 
retained it, while he spoke in a whisper. 

" Of course I cannot be ignorant that, in speaking of Isabel's ill- 
treatment, you alluded to my wife. Has it transpired beyond your- 
selves ? " 

"You may be sure that neither Isabel nor myself would mention it : 
we shall dismiss it from amongst our reminiscences. Let it be as 
though you never heard it ; it is past and done with." 

"Isabel," said the earl, as he was departing that evening, for he 
remained to spend the day with them, " I came here this morning 
almost prepared to strike your husband, and I go away honouring him. 
Be a good and faithful wife to him, for he desei-ves it." 

" Of course I shall be," she answered, in surprise. 



I04 EAST LYNNE. 

^ Lord Mount Severn went on to Castle Marling, and there he had 
a stormy interview with his wife : so stormy that the sounds penetrated 
to the ears of the domestics. He left again the same day, in anger, 
and proceeded to Mount Severn, 

"He will have time to cool down before we meet in London," was 
the comment of my lady. 



CHAPTER XV. 
COMING HOME. 



Miss Carlyle was as good as her word. She quitted her own house, 
and removed to East Lynne with Peter and two of her handmaidens. 
In spite of Mr. Dill's grieved remonstrances, she discharged the servants 
whom Mr. Carlyle had engaged ; all except one man : she might have 
retained one of the maids also, but for the episode of the mousseline- 
de-laine dresses and the caps with peach bows : for she had sense 
to remember, in spite of her prejudices, that East Lynne would require 
more hands in its service than her own home. 

On a Friday night, about a month after the wedding, Mr. Carlyle 
and his wife came home. They were expected, and Miss Carlyle went 
through the hall to receive them, and stood on the upper steps, between 
the pillars of the portico. An elegant chariot with four post-horses 
was drawing up ; Miss Carlyle compressed her lips as she scanned it. 
She was attired in a handsome dark silk dress and a new cap : her 
anger had had time to cool down in the last month, and her strong 
common sense told her that the wiser plan Avould be to make the best 
of it. Mr. Carlyle came up the steps with Isabel. 

" You here, Cornelia ! that was kind. How are you ? Isabel, this is 
my sister." 

Lady Isabel put forth her hand, and Miss Carlyle condescended to 
touch the tips of her fingers. " I hope you are well, ma'am," she 
jerked out. 

Mr. Carlyle left them together, and went back to search for some 
trifles which had been left in the carriage. Miss Carlyle led the way 
to a sitting-room, where the supper-tray was laid. " You would like to 
go upstairs and take your things off "before supper, ma'am ? '' she said, 
in the same jerky tone, to Lady Isabch 

" Thank you. I will go to my rooms, but I do not require supper. 
We have dined." 

'• 'J'hen what would you like to take?" asked Miss Corny. 

" Some tea, if you please. I am very thirsty." 

" Tea 1 " ejaculated Miss Corny. " So late as this ! I don't know 
that they have boiling water. You'd never sleep a wink all night, 
ma'am, if you took tea at eleven o'clock." 

" Oh — then never mind," replied Lady Isabel. " It is of no con- 
sequence. Do not let me give trouble." 

Miss Carlyle whisked out of the room ; upon what errand was best 
known to herself: and m the hall she and Marvel came to an en- 
counter. No words passed, but each eyed the other grimly. Marvel 



COMING HOME. 105 

was very stylish, with five flounces to her dress, a veil and a parasol. 
Meanwhile, Lady Isabel sat down and burst into tears and sobs. A 
chill had come over her : it did not seem like coming home to East 
Lynne. Mr. Carlyle entered and witnessed the grief. 

" Isabel ! " he uttered in amazement, as he hastened up to her. 
" My darling, what ails you ?" 

" I am tired, I think," she gently answered ; " and coming into the 
house again made me think of papa. I should like to go to my rooms, 
Archibald, but I don't know which they are." 

Neither did Mr. Carlyle know, but Miss Carlyle came whisking in 
again, and said, " The best rooms ; those next the library. Should she 
go up with my lady ? " 

Mr. Carlyle preferred to go himself, and he held out his arm to 
Isabel. She drew her veil over her face as she passed Miss Carlyle. 

The branches were not lighted, and the room looked cold and com- 
fortless. " Things seem all at sixes and sevens in the house," remarked 
Mr. Carlyle. " I fancy the servants must have misunderstood my 
letter, and not have expected us until to-morrow night." 

" Archibald," she said, taking off her bonnet, " I do feel very tired, 
and — and — low-spirited : may I undress at once, and not go down 
again to-night ? " 

He looked at her and smiled. " May you not go down again ! Have 
you forgotten that you are at last in your own home ? A happy home, 
I trust, it will be to you, my darling : I will strive to render it so." 

She leaned upon him and sobbed aloud. He tenderly bore with her 
mood, soothing her to composure, now and then gently kissing the face 
she held to him. Oh, his was a true heart ; he fervently intended 
to cherish this fair flower he had won : but, alas ! it was just possible 
he might miss the way, unless he could emancipate himself from his 
sister's thraldom. Isabel did not love him : of that she was conscious ; 
but her deep and earnest hope by night and by day was that she might 
learn to love him, for she knew that he deserved it. 

They heard Marvel's voice, and Isabel turned, poured out some 
water, and began dashing it over her face and eyes. She did not care 
that Marvel, who was haughtily giving orders about some particular 
trunk, should see her grief. 

" What will you take, Isabel ? " asked Mr. Carlyle. " Some tea ? " 

" No, thank you," replied she, remembering Miss Carlyle's answer. 

" But you must take something. You complained of thirst in the 
carriage." 

" Water will do — wiU be best for me, I mean Marvel can get it for 
me." 

Mr. Carlyle left the room, and the lady's-maid undressed her mistress 
in swelling silence, her tongue quivering with its rage and wrongs. 
Marvel thought herself more hardly used than any lady's-maid ever 
had been yet. From the very hour of the wedding her anger had been 
gathering, for there had been no gentleman-valet to take care of /icr 
during the wedding-journey. Bad enough ! but she had come home to 
find that there was no staff of upper servants at all : no housekeeper ; 
no steward ; no, as she expressed it, anybody. Moreover, she and Aliss 
Carlyle had just come to a clash. Marvel was loftily calling about her 



io6 EAST LYNNE. 

in the hall for somebody to carry up a small parcel, which contained, 
in fact, her lady's dressing-case, and Miss Carlyle had desired her to 
carry it up herself. But that she had learnt who the lady was, Marvel 
in her indignation might have felt inclined to throw the dressing-case 
at her head. 

" Anything else, my lady ? " 

" No," replied Lady Isabel. "You may go." 

Isabel, wrapped in her dressing-gown, her warm slippers on, sat with 
a book ; and ^larvel, wishing her good night, retired. Mr. Carlyle, 
meanwhile, had sought his sister, who, finding she was to be the only 
one to take supper, was then helping herself to the wing of a fowl. She 
had chosen that day to dine early. 

" Cornelia," he began, '• I do not understand all this. I don't see my 
servants, and I see yours. Where are mine ? " 

" Gone away," said Miss Carlyle, in her decisive, off-hand manner, 

" Gone away ! " responded Mr, Carlyle. " What for? I believe they 
were excellent servants." 

" Very excellent ! Decking themselves out in buff mousseline-de- 
laine dresses on a Saturday morning, and fine caps garnished with 
peach. Never attempt to dabble in domestic matters again, Archibald, 
for you only get taken in. Cut me a slice of that tongue." 

" But in what did they do wrong ? " he repeated, as he obeyed her, 

" Archibald Carlyle, how could you go and make a fool of yourself? 
If you must have married, were there not plenty oi young ladies in 
your own sphere of society " 

" Stay," he interrupted. " I wi'ote you a full statement of my motives 
and actions, Cornelia ; I concealed nothing that it was necessaiy you 
should know : I am not disposed to enter upon a further discussion of 
the subject, and you must pardon my saying so. Let us return to the 
topic of the servants. Where are they ? " 

" I sent them away. Because they were superfluous encumbrances," 
she hastily added, as he would have interrupted her. " We have four 
in the house, and my lady has brought a fine maid, I see, making five. 
I have come up here to live." 

Mr. Carlyle felt checkmated. He had always bowed to the will of 
Miss Corny, but he had an idea that he and his wife would be better 
without her. " And your own house ? " he exclaimed. 

" I have let it furnished ; the people entered to-day. You cannot turn 
me out of East Lynne, into the road, or to furnished lodgings, Archibald. 
There will be enough expense, without our keeping on two houses : and 
most people, in your place, would jump at the prospect of my living 
here. Your wife will be mistress ; I do not intend to take her honours 
from her ; but I shall save her a world of trouble in management, and 
be as useful to her as a housekeeper. She will be glad of that, in- 
experienced as she is : I dare say she never gave a domestic order in 
her life." 

This was a view of the case to Mr. Carlyle, so plausibly put, that he 
began to think it might be all for the best. He had great reverence 
for his sister's judgment : force of habit is strong upon all of us. Still — 
be did not know. 

" There is certainly room for you at East Lynne, Cornelia, but — - " 



COMING HOME. 107 

"A little too much," put in Miss Corny. " I think a house half its 
size might content us aJI, and still have been grand enough for Lady- 
Isabel." 

" East Lynne is mine," said Mr, Carlyle. 

"So is your folly," i-ejoined Miss Cornelia. 

"And with regard to servants," proceeded Mr. Carlyle, passing over 
the remark, " I shall certainly keep as many as I think necessary. 
I cannot give my wife splendour, but I will give her comfort. The 
horses and carriages will take one man's " 

Miss Corny turned faint all over. "What on earth are you 
talking of?" 

" I bought a pretty open carriage in town, and a pair of ponies for 
it. The carriage we came home in was Lord Mount Severn's present. 
Post-horses will do for that at present, but " 

" Oh, Archibald ! the sins that you are committing ! " 

" Sins .'' " echoed Mr. Carlyle. 

" Wilful waste makes woeful want. I taught that to you as a child. 
To be thrifty is a virtue ; to squander is a sin." 

" It may be a sin where you cannot afford it. To spend wisely is 
neither a squander nor a sm. Never fear, Corneha, that I shall run 
beyond my income." 

" Say at once an empty pocket is better than a full one," angrily 
returned Miss Carlyle. " Did you buy that fine piano which has 
arrived ? " 

" It was my present to Isabel." 

Miss Corny groaned. " What did it cost ? " 

" The cost is of no consequence. The old piano here was a bad one, 
and I bought a better." 

" What did it cost } " repeated Miss Carlyle. 

"A hundred and twenty guineas," he answered. Obedience to her 
will was yet powerful within him. 

Miss Corny threw up her hands and eyes. At that moment Peter 
entered with some hot water which his master had rung for. Mr. 
Carlyle rose, and looked on the sideboard. 

" Where's the wine, Peter ? " 

The servant put out some port and sherry. Mr, Carlyle drank a 
glass, and then proceeded to mix some wine and water, " Shall I mix 
some for you, Cornelia ? " he asked. 

" I'll mix for myself if I v/ant any, Who is that for ? " 

" Isabel." 

He quitted the room, carrying the wine and water, and entered his 
wife's. She was sitting half buried it seemed in the arm-chair, her 
face muffled up. As she raised it he saw that it was flushed and 
agitated, that her eyes were bright and her frame was trembling. 

" What is the matter ? " he hastily asked. 

" I grew nervous after Marvel went," she whispered, grasping him, 
as if for protection from terror. " I could not find the bell, and that 
made me worse ; so I came back to the chair and covered my head 
over, hoping some one would come up " 

" I have been talking to Cornelia. But what made you nervous ? " 

" Oh ! I was very foolish. I kept thinking of frightful things ; they 



io8 EAST LYNNE. 

would come into my mind. Do not blame me, Archibald. This is the 
room papa died in." 

" Blame you, my darling ! " he uttered with deep feeling. 

" I thought of a dreadful story about the bats, that the servants told 
— I dare say you never heard it ; and I kept thinking, ' Suppose they 
were at the windows now, behind the blinds.' And then I was afraid 
to look at the bed : I fancied I might see You are laughing ! " 

Yes, he was smiling ; for he knew that these moments of nervous 
fear are best met jestingly. He made her take the wine and water, and 
then he showed her where the bell was, ringing it as he did so. Its 
position had been moved in some late alterations to the house. 

" Your rooms shall be changed to-morrow, Isabel." 

" No, let us remain in these. I shall like to feel that papa was once 
their occupant. I won't grow nervous again." 

But, even as she spoke, her actions belied her words. Mr. Carlyle 
had gone to the door and opened it, and she flew to him, cowering 
behind him. 

" Shall you be very long, Archibald ? " she whispered. 

" Not more than an hour," he answered. But he hastily put back 
one of his hands, and held her tightly in his protecting grasp. Marvel 
was coming along the corridor in answer to the bell. 

" Ha'/e the goodness to let Miss Carlyle know that I am not coming 
down again to-night," he said. 

" Yes, sir." 

Mr. Carlyle shut the door, and then looked at his wife and laughed. 
" He is ver)^ kind to me," thought Isabel. 

With the morning began the perplexities of Lady Isabel Carlyle. 
But first of all, just fancy the group at breakfast. Miss Carlyle 
descended in the startling costume the reader has seen ; took her seat 
at the breakfast-table, and there sat bolt upright. Mr. Carlyle came 
down next ; and then Lady Isabel entered in an elegant half-mourning 
dress with flowing black ribbons. 

" Good morning, ma'am. I hope you slept well ? " was Miss Carlyle's 
salu^^ation. 

" Quite well, thank you," she answered, as she took her seat opposite 
Miss Carlyle. Miss Carlyle pointed to the top of the table. 

" That is your place, ma'am. But I wiU pour out the coffee, and 
savt you the trouble, if you wish it." 

" I should be glad if you would," answered Lady Isabel. 

So Miss Carlyle proceeded to her duties, very stern and grim. The 
meal was nearly over, when Peter came in, and said the butcher had 
come up for orders. Miss Carlyle looked at Lady Isabel, waiting, of 
course, for her to give them. Isabel was silent with perplexity : she 
had never given such an order in her life. Utterly ignorant was she 
of the requirements of a household ; and she did not know whether to 
suggest a few joints of meat or a whole cow. It was the presence of 
that grim Miss Corny which put her out ; alone with her husband, she 
woi^ld have said, " What ought I to order, Archibald ? Tell me." 
Peter waited. 

"A— something to roast and boil, if you please," stammered Lady 
Isabel. 



COMING HOME. 109 

She spoke in a low tone ; embarrassment makes cowards of the best 
of us ; and Mr. Carlyle repeated it after her. He knew no more about 
housekeeping than she did. 

" Something to roast and boil, tell the man, Peter." 

Up started Miss Corny ; she could not stand that. "Are you aware, 
Lady Isabel, that an order, such as that, would only puzzle tne 
butcher ? Shall I give the necessary orders for to-day ? The fish- 
monger will be up presently." 

" Oh ! I wish you would ! " cried the relieved Lady Isabel. " I have 
not been accustomed to it ; but I must learn. I don't think I know 
anything about housekeeping." 

Miss Corny's answer was to stalk out of the room. Isabel rose from 
her chair, as a bird released from its cage, and stood by her husband's 
side. " Have you finished, Archibald ? " 

" I think I have, dear. Oh ! here's my coffee. There j I have 
finished now." 

'• Let us go round the grounds." 

He rose, laid his hands playfully on her slender waist, and looked at 
her, " You may as well ask me to take a journey to the moon. It is 
past nine, and I have not been to the office for a month." 

Tears rose in her eyes. " I wish you could stay with me ! I wish 
you could be always with me. East Lynne will not be East Lynne 
without you." 

" I will be with you as much as ever I can, my dearest," he whis- 
pered. " Come and walk with me through the park." 

She ran for her bonnet, gloves, and parasol. Mr. Carlyle waited for 
her in the hall, and they went out together. 

He thought it a good opportunity to speak about his sister. " She 
wishes to remain with us," he said. " I do not know what to decide. 
On the one hand, I think she might save you the worry of household 
management : on the other, I fancy we shall be happier by ourselves." 

Isabel's heart sank within her at the idea of that stern Miss Corny, 
mounted over her as resident guard ; but, refined and sensitive, almost 
painfully considerate for the feelings of others, she raised no word of 
objection. As he and Miss Carlyle pleased, she answered. 

" Isabel," he said, with grave earnestness, " I wish it to be as you 
please : that is, I wish matters to be arranged as may best please you ; 
and I will have them so arranged. My chief object in life now is your 
happiness." 

He spoke in all the sincerity of truth, and Isabel knew it ; and the 
thought came across her that with him by her side, her loving pro- 
tector. Miss Carlyle could not mar her Hfe's peace. " Let her stay, 
Archibald : she will not incommode us." 

" At any rate, it can be tried for a month or two, and we shall see 
how it works," he musingly observed. 

They reached the park gates. " I wish I could go with you and be 
your clerk," she cried, unwilling to release his hand. " I should not 
have all that long way to go back by myself." 

He laughed and shook his head, telling her that she wanted to bribe 
him into taking her back, but it could not be. And away he went, 
after saying farewell. 



no EAST LYNNE, 

Isabel wandered back, and then wandered though the rooms : they 
looked lonely ; not as they had seemed to look in her father's time. In 
her dressing-room knelt Marvel, unpacking. She rose when Lady 
Isabel entered. 

" Can I speak to you a moment, if you please, my lady ? " 

" What is it ? " 

Then Marvel poured forth her tale. That she feared so small an 
establishment would not suit her, and if my lady pleased she would 
like to leave at once ; that day. Anticipating it, she had not unpacked 
her things. 

"There has been some mistake about the servants, Marvel, but it 
Avill be remedied as soon as possible. And I told you, before I married, 
that Mr. Carlyle's establishment would be a limited one." 

" My lady, perhaps I could put up with that ; but I never could stop 
in the house with " — that female Guy, had been on the tip of Marvel's 
tongue ; but she remembered in time of whom she was speaking — 
" with Miss Carlyle. I fear, my lady, we have both tempers that would 
clash, and might be flying at each other : 1 could not stop, my lady, for 
untold gold. And if you please to make me forfeit my running quarter's 
salary, why, I must do it. So, when I have set your ladyship's things 
to rights, I hope you'll allow me to go." 

Lady Isabel would not condescend to ask her to remain, but she 
wondered how she should manage without a maid. She drew her desk 
towards her. " What is the amount due to you ? " she inquired, as slie 
unlocked it. 

" Up to the end of the quarter, my lady ? " cried Marvel, in a brisk 
tone. 

" No," coldly replied Lady Isabel. '' Up to to-day." 

" I have not had time to reckon, my lady." 

Lady Isabel took a pencil and paper, made out the account, and laid 
it down in gold and silver on the table. " It is more than you deserve, 
Marvel," she remarked, " and more than you would receive in most 
places. You ought to have given me proper notice." 

Marvel melted into tears, and began a string of excuses. " She 
should never have wished to leave so kind a lady, but for attendant 
ill-conveniences, and she hoped my lady would not object to testify to 
her character." Lady Isabel quitted the room in the midst of it : and 
in the course of the day Marvel took her departure, Joyce telling her 
that she ought to be ashamed of herself. 

" I couldn't help myself," retorted Marvel ; " and I'm sorry to leave 
her, for she's a pleasant young lady to serve." 

"Well, I know I'd have helped myself," was Joyce's remark. "I 
would not go off in this unhandsome way from a gGod mistress." 

"Perhaps you wouldn't," loftily returned Marvel, "but my feelings 
are delicate, and can't bear to be trampled upon. The same house 
is not going to hold me and that tall female image, who's more 
fit to be carried about at a foreign carnival than some that they do 
carry." 

So Marvel left. And when Lady Isabel went to her room to dress 
for dinner, Joyce entered it. 

" I am not much accustomed to a lady's-maid's duties," said she, " but 



COMING HOME. ill 

Miss Carlylc has sent mc, my lady, to do what I can for you, if you 
will allow me." 

Isabel thought it was kind of Miss Carlyle. 

" And if you please to trust mc with the keys of your things, I will 
take charge of them for you, my lady, until you are suited with a maid," 
Joyce resumed. 

" I don't know anything about the keys," answered Isabel. " I never 
keep them." 

Joyce did her best, and Lady Isabel went down. It was nearly six 
o'clock, the dinner hour, and she strolled to the park gates, hoping to 
meet Mr. Carlyle. Taking a few steps out, she looked down the road, 
but could not see him coming ; so she turned in again, and sat down 
imder a shady tree and out of view of the road. It was remarkably 
warm weather for the closing days of I\Iay. 

Half an hour, and then Mr. Carlyle came hurrying up, passed the 
gates, and turned on to the grass. There was his wife. She had 
fallen asleep, her head leaning against the trunk of the tree. Her 
bonnet and parasol lay at her feet, her scarf had dropped, and she 
looked like a lovely child, her lips partly open, her cheeks flushed, 
and her beautiful hair falling around. It was an exquisite picture, 
and his heart beat quicker within him as he felt it was his own. A 
smile stole over his lips as he stood looking at her. She opened her 
eyes, and for a moment could not remember where she was. Then 
she started up. 

" Oh, Archibald ! have I been asleep ? " 

" Ay ; and might have been stolen and carried off. I could not 
afford that, Isabel." 

" I don't know how I came to fall asleep. I was listening for you." 

" What have you been doing all day ? " he asked, as he drew her arm 
within his, and they walked on. 

" Oh, 1 hardly know," she sighed. " Trying the 'new piano, and 
looking at my watch, wishing the time would go more quickly, that you 
might come home. The ponies and carriage have arrived, Archibald." 

" I know they have, my dear. Have you been out-of-doors much.'"' 

" No, I waited for you." And then she told him about Marvel. He 
felt vexed, saying she must replace her with all speed. Isabel said she 
knew of one, a young woman who had left Lady Mount Severn while 
she, Isabel, was at Castle Marling : her health was delicate, and Lady 
Mount Severn's place was too hard for hen 

" Write to her," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" You have kept dinner waiting more than half an hour," began Miss 
Corny, in a loud tone of complaint, to her brother, meeting them in 
the hall. "And I thought you must be lost, ma'am," she added, to 
Isabel. 

Why in the world did she add that objectionable "ma'am" to every 
sentence? It was out of place in all respects to Isabel: more 
especially considering her own age and Isabel's youth. Mr. Carlyle 
knitted his brow whenever it came out, and Joyce felt sure that Miss 
Corny did it " in her temper." He hastily answered her that he could 
not get away from the office earlier, and went up to his dressing-room. 
Isabel hurried after him, probably dreading soiuc outbreak of Miss 



112 EAST LYNNE. 

Carlyle's displeasure, but the door was shut, and, scarcely at home 
yet as a wife, she did not like to open it. When he appeared, there 
she was, leaning against the door-post. 

" Isabel ! Are you there ? " 

" I am waiting for you. Are you ready ? " 

" Nearly." He drew her inside, caught her to him, and held her 
against his heart. 

There was an explosion on the following morning. Mr. Carlyle 
ordered the pony-carriage for church, but his sister interrupted him. 

"Archibald ! what are you thinking of? I will not permit it." 

" Permit what ? " asked Mr. Carlyle. 

" The cattle to be taken out on a Sunday. I am a religious woman, 
ma'am," she added, turning sharply to Isabel, "and I cannot counte- 
nance Sunday travelling. I was taught my catechism. Lady Isabel." 

Isabel did not feel comfortable. She knew that a walk to St. Jude's 
Church and back in the present heat would knock her up for the day, 
but she shrank from offending Miss Carlyle's prejudices. She was 
standing at the window with her husband. Miss Carlyle being seated 
at a distant table, with the Bible before her. 

" Archibald, perhaps if we walk very slowly it will not hurt me," she 
softly whispered. 

He smiled and nodded and whispered in return: "Be quite ready 
by half-past ten." 

"Well — is she going to walk?" snapped Miss Corny, as Isabel left 
the room. 

" No. She could not bear the walk in this heat, and I shall certainly 
not allow her to attempt it. We shall go in early. John will put up the 
ponies and be at church before the service begins." 

" Is she made of sugar, and would melt?" retorted Miss Corny. 

" She is a gentle, tender plant ; one that I have taken to my bosom 
and vowed before my Maker to love and to cherish : and, by His help, 
I will do so." 

He spoke in a firm tone, almost as sharp as Miss Corny's, and 
quitted the room. Miss Carlyle raised her hand and pressed it to 
her temples : as if something pained her there. 

The carriage came round, a beautiful little equipage, and Isabel was 
ready. As Mr. Carlyle drove slowly down the dusty road, they came 
upon Miss Corny striding along in the sun, with a great umbrella over 
her head. She would not turn to look at them. 

Once more, as in the year gone by, St. Jude's Church was in a flutter 
of expectation. It expected to see a whole paraphernalia of bridal 
finery, and again it was doomed to disappointment, for Isabel had not 
put off mourning for her father. She was in black, a thin gauze dress, 
and her white bonnet had small black flowers inside and out. For the 
first time in his life Mr. Carlyle took possession of the pew belonging 
to East Lynnc, filling the place where the poor earl used to sit. Not 
so Miss Corny ; she sat in her own. 

Barbara was there with the justice and Mrs. Hare. Her face wore 
a grey, dusky hue, of which she was only too conscious, but could not 
subdue. Her covetous eyes would wander to that other face with its 
singular loveliness, and its sweetly earnest eyes, sheltered under the 



BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. 113 

protection of him, for whose sheltering protection she had so long 
yearned. Poor Barbara did not benefit much by the services that day. 

Afterwards, they went across the churchyard to the west corner, 
where stood the tomb of Lord Mount Severn. Isabel looked at the 
inscription, her veil shading her face. 

" Not here, and now, my darling," he whispered, pressing her arm to 
his side, for he felt her silent sobs. " Strive for calmness." 

" It seems but the other day he was at church with me, and now — 
here ! " 

Mr. Carlyle suddenly changed their places, so that they stood with 
their backs to the hedge, and to any curious stragglers who might be 
lingering in the road. 

" There ought to be railings round the tomb," she presently said, 
after a successful battle with her emotion. 

" I thought so, and I suggested it to Lord Mount Severn, but he 
appeared to think differently. I will have it done." 

" I put you to great expense," she said. 

Mr. Carlyle glanced quickly at her, a dim fear penetrating his mind 
that his sister might have been talking in her hearing. " An expense 
I would not be without for the whole world. You know it, Isabel." 

" And I have nothing to repay you with," she sighed. 

He looked excessively amused ; and, gazing into her face, the ex- 
pression of his eyes made her smile. " Here is John with the carriage," 
she exclaimed. " Let us go, Archibald." 

Standing outside the gates, talking to the rector's family, were several 
ladies, one of them Barbara Hare. She watched Mr. Carlyle place his 
wife in the carriage, she watched him drive away. Barbara's very lips 
were white as she bowed in return to his greeting. 

" The heat is so great," murmured Barbara, when those around 
noticed her paleness. 

" Ah ! you ought to have gone home in the phaeton with Mr. and 
Mrs. Hare — as they desired you." 

" I wished to walk." returned the unhappy Barbara. 

" What a pretty girl ! " said Lady Isabel to her husband. " What is 
her name ? " 

" Barbara Hare." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. 



The county carriages began to arrive at East Lynne, to pay the 
wedding visit to Mr. and Lady Isabel Carlyle. Some appeared with 
all the pomp of coronets and hammercloths, and bedizened footmen 
with calves and wigs and gold-heaaed canes ; some came with four 
horses, and some even with outriders. It is the custom still in certain 
localities to be preceded by outriders when paying visits of ceremony, 
and there are people who like the dash it causes. Mr. Carlyle might 
have taken up his abode at East Lynne without any such honours 
£«st Lrniu. 8 



114 EAST LYNNE. 

being paid him, but his marriage with Lady Isabel had sent him up in 
county estimation. Amongst the rest went Justice and Mrs. Hare and 
Barbara. The old-fashioned, large yellow chariot was brought out, 
and the fat, sleek, long-tailed coach-horses : only on state occasions 
was that chariot awakened out of its repose. 

Isabel happened to be in her dressing-room, talking to Joyce. She 
had grown to like Joyce very much, and was asking her whether she 
would continue to wait upon her — as the maid, for whom she had 
written, was not well enough to come. 

Joyce's face lighted up with pleasure at the proposal. " Oh, my 
lady, you are very kind ! I should so like it. I would serve you 
faithfully, to the best of my ability : and I know I could do your hair 
well, if you allowed me to try : I have been practising upon my own, 
night and morning." 

Isabel laughed. "But Miss Carlyle may not be inclined to transfer 
you to me." 

" I think she would, my lady. She said, a day or two ago, that I 
appeared to suit you, and you might have me altogether if you wished, 
provided I could still make her gowns, which I could very well do, 
for yours is an easy service. I make them to please her, you see, my 
lady." 

" Do you make her caps also ? " demurely asked Lady Isabel. 

Joyce smiled. " Yes, my lady : but I am allowed to make them 
only according to her own pattern." 

" Joyce, if you become my maid, you must wear smarter caps your- 
self." 

" I know that, my lady — at least, different ones. But Miss Carlyle 
is very particular, and only allows muslin caps to her servants. I 
would wear plain white net, if you don't object, my lady : neat and 
close, with a little quilled white ribbon." 

" rhey are the best that you can wear. I do not wish you to be 
fine, like Marvel." 

" Oh, my lady ! I shall never be fine," shuddered Joyce. And Joyce 
believed she had cause to shudder at finery. She was about to speak 
further, when a knock came at the dressing-room door. Joyce went 
to open it, and saw one of the housemaids, a girl who had recently 
been engaged, a native of West Lynne. Isabel heard the colloquy, 

"Is my lady there: " 

" Yes." 

" Some visitors. Peter ordered me to come and tell you. I say 
Joyce, it's the Hares. And s/ics with them. Her bonnet's got blue 
convolvulums inside, and a white feather out, as long as Martha's 
hearth-broom. I watched her out of the carriage." 

"Who?" sharply returned Joyce. 

" Wliy, MIhs Barbara. Only fancy her coming to pay the wedding 
visit here. My lady had better take care that she don't get a bowl of 
poison mixed for her. Master's out, or else I'd have given a shilhng 
to see the interview between the three." 

Joyce sent the girl away, closed the door, and turned to her mistress, 
quite unconscious that the half-v/lii spared conversation had been 
audible. 



BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. 115 

" vSome visitors in the drawing-room, my lady, Susan says. Mr. 
Justice Hare and Mrs. Hare, and Miss Barbara." 

Isabel descended, her mind full of the mysterious words spoken by 
Susan. The justice wa» in a new flaxen wig, obstinate-looking and 
pompous ; Mrs. Hare pale, delicate, and lady-like ; Barbara, beautiful : 
such was the impression they made upon Isabel. 

They paid rather a long visit. Isabel quite fell in love with the 
gentle and suffering Mrs. Hare, who had risen to leave when Miss 
Carlyle entered. Miss Carlyle wished them to remain longer ; had 
something, she said, to show Barbara. The justice declined : he had 
a brother-justice coming to dine with him at five ; it was then half- 
past four : Barbara might stay if she liked. 

Barbara's face crimsoned : nevertheless she accepted the invitation, 
proffered her by Miss Carlyle, to remain at East Lynne for the rest of 
the day. 

Dinner-time approached, and Isabel went up to dress for it. Joyce 
was waiting, and entered upon the subject of the service. 

" My lady, I have spoken to Miss Carlyle, and she is willing that I 
should be transferred to you, but she says I ought first of all to 
acquaint you with certain unpleasant facts in my history, and the 
same thought had occurred to me. Miss Carlyle is not over-pleasant 
in manner, my lady, but she is very upright and just." 

"What facts.-"' asked Lady Isabel, sitting down to have her hair 
brushed. 

" My lady, I'll tell you as shortly as I can. i\Iy father was a clerk 
in Mr. Carlyle's office — of course I mean the late Mr. Carlyle. J\Iy 
mother died when I was eight years old, and my father afterwards 
married again, a sister of Mr. Kane's wife — — " 

''Mr. Kane, the music-master?" 

" Yes, my lady. She was a governess ; she and Mrs. Kane had 
both been governesses, they were quite ladies, so far as education and 
manners went, and West Lynne said that in stooping to marry my 
father she lowered herself dreadfully. But he was a very handsome 
man, and a clever man also, though self-taught. Well, they married, 
and at the end of a year Afy was born " 

"Who?" interrupted Lady Isabel. 

" My half-sister, Afy. In another year her mother died, and an 
aunt of her mother sent for the child, and said she should bring her 
up. I remained at home with my father, going to school in the day, 
and when I grew up, I went to learn milHnery and dressmaking. 
We lived in the prettiest cottage, my lady ; it was in the wood, and it 
was my father's own. After I was out of my time, I used to go round 
to different ladies' houses to work, seeing to my father's comforts night 
and morning, for the woman who did the housework only came in for 
a few hours in the day. That went on for years, and then Afy came 
liome. Her aunt had died, and her monev died with her, so that 
though she had brought up Afy well, she could leave her nothing. Afy 
quite frightened us. Her notions were fine, and her dress was fine ; 
she was gay and giddy and very pretty, and would do nothing all day 
but read books, which she used to get at the West Lynne library. My 
father did not like it : we were only plain, working people, and she 



Ii6 EAST LYNNE. 

wanted to set up for a lady — the effect of bringing her up above her 
station. Many a breeze had she and I together, chiefly about her 
dress. The next thing, she got acquainted with young Richard Hare." 

Lady Isabel looked up quickly. 

" Mr. Justice Harm's only son ; own brother to Miss Barbara," pro- 
ceeded Joyce, dropping her voice, as though Barbara might hear her 
in the drawing-room. " Oh, she was very flighty ; she encouraged 
Mr. Richard, and he soon grew to love her with quite a wild sort of 
love ; he was rather simple, and Afy used to laugh at him behind his 
back. She encouraged others too, and would have them there in an 
evening, when the house was free. My f;ither was secretary to the 
literary institution, and had to be there two evenings in the week, 
after office hours at Mr. Caxlyle's ; he was fond of shooting, too, and, 
if home in time, would go out with his gun ; and as I scarcely ever 
got home before nine o'clock, Afy was often alone, and she took the 
opportunity of having one or other of her admirers there." 

"Had she many admirers?" asked Lady Isabel, who seemed in- 
clined to treat the tale jokingly. 

" The chief one, my lady, was Richard Hare. She got acquainted 
with somebody else, a stranger, who used to ride over from a distance 
to see her ; but I fancy there was nothing in it ; Mr. Richard was the 
one. And it went on and on, till — till — he killed her father." 

" Who ? " uttered the startled Lady Isabel. 

" Richard Hare, my lady. My father had told Afy that Mr. Richard 
should not come there any longer, for when gentlemen go in secret 
after poor girls, it is well known they have not marriage in their 
thouglUs : my father would have interfered more than he did, but 
that he judged well of Mr. Richai'd, and did not think he was one to 
do Afy real harm — but he did not know how flighty she was. How- 
ever, one day he heard people talking about it in West Lynne, coupling 
her name and Mr. Richard's offensively together, and at night he told 
Afy, before me, that it should not go on any longer, and she must not 
encourage him. My lady, the next night Richard Hare shot my 
father." 

" How very dreadful 1 " 

" Whether it was done on purpose, or whether the gun went off in a 
scuffle, I can't tell : people think it was wilful murder. I never shall 
forget the scene, my lady, when I got home that night : it was at 
Justice Hare's that I had been working. My father was lying on the 
floor, dead ; and the house was full of people. Afy could give no 
particulars : she had gone out to the wood path at the back, and 
never heard or saw anything amiss ; but when she went in again, 
there lay father. Mr. Locksley was leaning over him ; he told Afy 
that he had heard the shot, and came up in time to sec Richard Hare 
fling the gun away, and fly from the house with his shoes stained with 
blood." 

" Oh, Joyce 1 I do not like to hear this. What was done to Richard 
Hare?" 

" He escaped, my lady. He went off that same night, and has never 
been heard of since. There's a judgment of murder out against him, 
and his own father would be the first to deliver him up to justice. It is 



BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. 117 

a dreadful thing to have befallen the Hare family, who are high and 
respectable people : it is killing Mrs. Hare by inches. Afy " 

" What is it, that name, Joyce? " 

" My lady, she was christened by a very fine name — Aphrodite : so 
I and my father never called her anything but Afy. But I have the 
worst to tell you yet, my lady — the worst as regards her. As soon as 
the inc[ucst was over, she went off, after Richard Hare." 

Lady Isabel uttered an exclamation. 

" She did indeed, my lady," returned Joyce, turning av.-ay her wet 
eyelashes and her flushed cheeks from the gaze of her mistress. 
" Nothing has been heard of either of them : and it is hardly likely but 
what they went out of England — perhaps to Australia ; perhaps to 
America ; nobody knows. What with the shame of that, and the shock 
of my poor father's murder, I had an attack of illness. It was a nervous 
fever, and it lasted long : Miss Carlyle had me at her house, and she 
and her servants nursed me through it. She's good at heart, my lady, 
is Miss Carlyle, only her manners are against her, and she will think 
herself better than other people. After that illness, I stayed with her 
as upper maid, and never went out to work again." 

" How long is it since this happened ? " 

"It will be four years next September, my lady. The cottage has 
stood empty ever since, for nobody will live in it ; they say it is tainted 
with murder. And I can't sell it, because Afy has a right in it as well 
as I. I go to it sometimes, and open the windows, and air it. And 
this was what I had to tell you, my lady, before you decide to take me 
into your service. It is not every lady would like to engage one whose 
sister has turned out so badly." 

Lady Isabel did not see tbat it ought to make any difference. She 
said so : and then leaned back in her chair, and mused. 

" Which dress, my lady ? " 

" Joyce, what was that I heard you and Susan gossiping about at the 
door?" Lady Isabel suddenly asked. "About Miss Hare giving me a 
bowl of poison. You should tell Susan not to whisper so loudly." 

Joyce smiled, though she was rather confused. " It was only a bit 
of nonsense, of course, my lady. The fact is, that people think Miss 
Barbara was much attached to Mr. Carlyle. regularly in love with him, 
and many thought it would be a match. But I don't fancy she would 
have been the one to make him happy, with all her love." 

A hot flush passed over the brow of Lady Isabel ; a sensation very 
like jealousy flew to her heart. No woman likes to hear that another 
woman cither is or has been attached to her husband : a doubt always 
arises whether the feeling may not have been reciprocated. 

Lady Isabel descended. She wore a costly black lace dress, its low 
body and sleeves trimmed with white lace as costly, and ornaments of 
jet. She looked inexpressibly beautiful, and Barbara turned from her 
with a feeling of sickening jealousy ; from her beauty, from her attire, 
even from the fine, soft handkerchief, which displayed the badge of hei 
rank— the coronet of an earl's daughter. Barbara looked well too : she 
was in a light-blue silk robe, and her pretty checks were damask with 
her mind's excitement. On her neck she wore the gold chain given to 
her by Mr. Carlyle— she had not discarded that. 



Ii8 EAST LYNNE. 

They stood together at the window, looking at Mr. Carlyle as he came 
up the avenue. He saw them, and nodded. Lady Isabel watched the 
damask cheeks turn to crimson at sight of him. 

" How do you do, Barbara ? " he cried, as he shook hands. " Come 
to pay us a visit at last ? you have been tardy over it. And how are 
you, my darling?" he whispered, bending over his wife: but she missed 
his kiss of greeting. Well ; would she have had him give it her in 
public ? No ; but she was in the mood to notice the omission. 

Dinner over. Miss Carlyle beguiled Barbara out of doors. To ex- 
hibit the beauties of the East .Lynne pleasure-grounds, the rarities of 
the conservatory, thinks the reader. Not at all : she was anxious to 
show off the stock of vegetables, the asparagus and cucumber beds ; 
worth a hundred acres of flowers in Miss Carlyle's estimation. Barbara 
went unwillingly : she would rather be in his presence than away from 
it ; and she could not help feeling this, although he was the husband 
of another. Isabel remained indoors ; Barbara was Miss Carlyle's 
guest. 

" How do you like her? " abruptly asked Barbara, alluding to Lady 
Isabel. 

" Better than I thought I should," acknowledged Miss Carlyle. " I 
had expected airs and graces and pretence, and I must say she is free 
from them. She seems quite wrapped up in Archibald, and watches 
for his coming home as a cat watches for a mouse. She is dull without 
him." 

Barbara plucked a rose as they passed a bush, and began pulling it 
to pieces, leaf by leaf. " Dull ! how does she employ her time ? " 

" In doing nothing," snappishly retorted Miss Carlyle. " Sings a bit, 
and plays a bit, and reads a bit, and receives her visitors, and idles 
away her days in that manner. She coaxes Archibald out here after 
breakfast, and he ought not to let himself be coaxed; it makes him late 
at his office ; and then she dances down to the park gates with him, 
hindering him still further, for he would go alone in half the time. One 
morning it poured with rain : she actually went all the same. I told 
her she would spoil her dress : oh, that was nothing, she said, and 
Archibald wrapped a shawl round her and took her. Of course to spoil 
dresses is nothing to her ! And in an evening she goes down to meet 
him again ; she would have gone to-day, if you had not been here. Oh, 
she is first with him now ; business is second. 

Barbara compelled her manner to indifference. " I suppose it is 
natural." 

" I suppose it is absurd," was the retort of Miss Carlyle. " I give 
them very little of my company, especially of an evening. They go 
strolling out together, or she sings to him, he hanging over her as if 
she were gold ; to judge by appearances, she is more precious to him 
than any gf)]d that ever was coined into money. I'll tell you what I 
saw last night. They had post-horses to the close carringe yesterday, 
and went to return some visits, never reaching home till past seven, and 
keeping me and dinner waiting. Archibald had what he is not often 
subject to, a severe headache, and he went into the next lOom after 
dinner, and lay on the sofa. She carried a cup of tea to him, and never 
came back, leaving her own on the table till it was perfectly cold. I 



BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. 119 

p-ushed open the door to tell her so. There was my lady's cambric 
handkerchief, soaked in eau-de-Cologne, lying on his forehead ; and 
there was my lady herself, kneeling down and looking at him, he with 
his arm thrown round her to hold her there. Now I just ask you, 
Barbara, whether there's any sense in fadding with a man like that .'' 
If ever he had a headache before he was married, I used to mix hint 
up a good dose of salts and senna, and tell him to go to bed early and 
sleep the pain off." 

Barbara made no reply : but she turned her face from Miss 
Carlyle. 

They came upon the gardener, and Miss Carlyle entered into a dis- 
cussion with him, a somewhat warm one ; she insisted upon having 
certain work done in a certain way ; he asserting that Mr. Carlyle 
had ordered it done another. Barbara grew tired, and returned to the 
house. 

Isabel and her husband were in the adjoining room, at the piano, 
and Barbara had an opportunity of hearing that sweet voice. She did 
as Miss Carlyle confessed to have done, pushed open the door between 
the two rooms, and looked in. It was the twilight hour, amiost too 
dusk to see ; but she could distinguish Isabel seated at the piano, and 
Mr. Carlyle standing behind her. She was singing one of the ballads 
from the opera of the " Bohemian Girl : " " When other lips." 

" Why do you like the song so much, Archibald ? " she asked when 
she had finished it. 

" I don't know. I never liked it so much until I heard it from you." 

" I wonder if they have come in. Shall we go into the next room ? " 

" Just this one first, this translation from the German. ' 'Twere vain 
to tell thee all I feel.' There's real music in that song." 

" Yes, there is. Do you know, Archibald, your taste is just like 
papa's. He liked all these quiet, imaginative songs, and so do you. 
And so do I," she laughingly added, "if I must speak the truth. Mrs. 
Vane used to stop her ears and make a face, when papa made me sing 
them. Papa returned the compliment ; for he would walk out of the 
room if she began her loud Italian airs. I speak of the time when she 
was with us in London." 

She ceased, and began the song, singing it exquisitely, in a low, 
sweet, earnest tone, the chords of the accompaniment, at its conclusion, 
dying off gradually into silence. 

" There, Archibald ! I am sure I have sung you ten songs at least," 
she said, leaning her head back against him, and looking at him from 
her upturned face. " You ought to pay me for them." 

He did pay her ; holding the dear face to him, and taking from it 
impassioned kisses. Barbara turned to the window, a low moan 
escaping her, as she pressed her forehead on one of its panes, 
and looked forth into the dusky night. Isabel came in on her 
husband's arm. 

"Are you here alone. Miss Hare? I really beg your pardon. I 
supposed you were with Miss Carlyle.'"' 

" Where is Cornelia, Barbara ? " 

" I have only just come in," was Barbara's reply, " I dare say she is 
following me." 



I20 EAST LYNNE. 

So she was, for she came upon them as they were speaking, her 
voice raised in anger. 

" Archibald, what have you been telhng Blair about that geranium 
bed? He says you have been ordering him to make it oval. We 
decided that it should be square." 

" Isabel would prefer it oval," was his reply. 

" But it will be best square," repeated Miss Carlyle. 

" It is all right, Cornelia ; Blair has his orders. I wish it to be oval." 

"He is a regular muff, is that Blair, and as obstinate as a mule," 
cried Miss Carlyle. 

" Indeed, Cornelia, I think him a very good servant." 

" Oh, of course," snapped Miss Carlyle. " You never can see faults 
in any one. You always were a simpleton in some things, Ai'chibald." 

Mr. Carlyle laughed good-humouredly ; he was of an even, calm 
temper : and he had, all his life, been subjected to the left-handed 
compliments of his sister. Isabel resented these speeches in her heart; 
she was growing more attached to her husband day by day. 

"It is well everyone does not think so," cried he, with a glance at 
his wife and Barbara, as they drew round the tea-table. 

The evening went on to ten o'clock, and as the time-piece struck the 
hour, Barbara rose from her chair in amazement. " I did not think it 
was so late. Surely some one must have come for me." 

"I will inquire," was Lady Isabel's answer; and Mr. Carlyle rang 
the bell. No one had come for Miss Hare. 

" Then I fear I must trouble Peter," cried Barbara. " Mamma may 
be gone to rest, tired, and papa must have forgotten me. It would 
never do for me to be locked out," she gaily added. 

" As you were one night before," said Mr. Carlyle, significantly. 

He alluded to the night when Barbara was in the grove of trees 
with her unfortunate brother, and Mr. Hare was on the point, uncon- 
sciously, of locking her out. She had given Mr. Carlyle the history ; 
but its recollection now called up a sharp pain, and a change passed 
over her face. 

" Oh, don't, Archibald ! " she uttered, in the impulse ofthe moment ; 
"don't recall it." Isabel wondered. 

" Can Peter take me ? " continued Barbara. 

" I had better take you," said Mr. Carlyle. " It is late." 

Barbara's heart beat at the words ; it beat as she put her things on ; 
as she said good night to Lady Isabel and Miss Carlyle; it beat to 
throbbing as she went out with him and took his arm. All just as 
it used to be — only that he was now the husband of another. Only ! 

It was a warm, lovely June niglit, not moonlight, but bright with the 
summer twilight. They went down the park into the road, which 
they crossed, and soon came to a stile. From that stile led a path 
through the fields which would pass the back of Justice Hare's. 
Barbara stopped. 

" Would you choose the field way to-night, Barbara ? The grass 
will be damp. And this is the longest way." 

" But we shall escape the dust of the road." 

" Oh ! very well, if you prefer it. It will not make three minutes' 
difference." 



BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. I2i 

"He is very anxious to get home to her!'''' mentally exclaimed 
Barbara. " I shall fly out upon him presently, or my heart will 
burst." 

Mr. Carlyle crossed the style, helped over Barbara, and then gave 
her his arm again. He had taken her parasol ; he had taken it the 
last night they had walked together ; an elegant little parasol, this 
of blue silk and white lace, and he did not switch the hedges with it. 
That night was present to Barbara now, with all its words and its 
delusive hopes ; terribly present to her was their bitter ending. 

There are moments in a woman's life when she is betrayed into 
forgetting the ordinary rules of conduct and propriety ; when she is 
betrayed into making a scene. It may not often occur ; perhaps 
never to a cold, secretive nature, where impulse, feeling, and above 
all, temper, are under strict control. Barbara Hare's temper was not 
under strict control. Her love, her jealousy, the never-dying pain 
always preying on her heart-strings since the marriage took place, 
her keen sense of the humiliation which had come home to her, were 
all rising fiercely, bubbling up with fiery heat. The evening she had 
just passed in their company, their evident happiness, the endearments 
she had seen him lavish upon his wife, were working her up to that 
state of nervous excitement when temper, tongue, and imagination fly 
off at a mad tangent. She felt as one isolated for ever, shut out from 
all that could make life dear ; they were the world, she was out of it : 
what was her existence to him ? A little self-control and Barbara 
would not have uttered words that must remain on her mind hereafter 
as an incubus, dyeing her cheeks red whenever she recalled them. It 
must be remembered too (if anything in the shape of excuse can be 
admitted) that she was upon terms of close intimacy with Mr. Carlyle. 
Independently of her own sentiments for him, they had been reared in 
freedom one with the other, almost as brother and sister. Mf. Carlyle 
walked on, utterly unconscious of the storm that was raging within 
her ; more than that, he was unconscious of having given cause for 
one : and he dashed into topics, indifierent and commonplace, in the 
most provoking manner. 

" When does the justice begin haymaking, Barbara ? " 

There was no reply ; Barbara was trying to keep down her emotion. 
Mr. Carlyle tried again : 

" Barbara, I asked you which day your papa cuts his hay ! " 

Still no reply. Barbara was literally incapable of making one. Her 
throat was working, the muscles of her mouth began to twitch, and a 
convulsive sob, or what sounded like it, broke from her. Mr. Carlyle 
turned his head hastily. 

" Barbara ! are you ill ? What is it ? " 

On it came, passion, temper, wrongs, and nervousness, all boiling 
over together. She was in strong hysterics. Mr. Carlyle half carried, 
half dragged her to the second stile, and placed her against it, his arm 
supporting her ; and an old cow and two calves, wondering what the 
disturbance could mean at that sober time of night, walked up and 
stared at them. 

Barbara struggled with her emotion, struggled bravely, and the sobs 
and hysterical symptoms subsided ; not the excitement or the passion. 



122 EAST LYNNE. 

She put away his arm, and stood with her back to the stile, leaning 
against it. Mr. Carlyle felt inclined to fly to the pond for water, only 
he had nothing but his hat to bring it in. 

" Are you better, Barbara ? What can have caused all this ? " 

" What can have caused it ! " she burst forth in passionate uncon- 
trol. " You can ask me that ? " 

Mr. Carlyle was dumbfounded : but, by some inexplicable law of 
sympathy, a dim and very unpleasant consciousness of the truth began 
to steal over him. 

" I don't understand you, Barbara. If I have offended you in any 
way, I am truly sorry." 

" Truly sorry, no doubt ! What do you care for me ? If I go under 
the sod to-morrow," stamping it with her foot, " you have your wife to 
care for : what am I ? " 

" Hush ! " he interposed, glancing round, more mindful for her than 
she was for herself. 

" Hush, yes ! what is my misery to you ? I would rather be in my 
grave, Archibald Carlyle, than endure the life I lead. My pain is 
greater than I know how to bear." 

" I cannot affect to misunderstand you," he said, feeling extremely 
annoyed and vexed. " But, my dear Barbara, I never gave you cause 
to think that I — that I — cared for you more than I did care." 

"Never gave me cause!" she gasped. "When you have been 
coming to our house constantly, almost as my shadow ; when you 
gave me this " — dashing open her mantle, and holding up the locket 
to his view ; " when you have been more intimate with me than a 
brother ! " 

" Stay, Barbara. There it is — a brother. I have been nothing else : 
it never occurred to me to be anything else," he added, in his straight- 
forward truth. 

"Ay, as a brother, nothing else ! " and her voice rose once more with 
her excitement ; it seemed that she would not long control it. " What 
cared you for my feelings ? what recked you that you gained my 
love ? " 

" Barbara, hush ! " he implored ; "do be calm and reasonable. If I 
ever gave you cause to think I regarded you with deeper feeling, I 
can only express to you my deep regret, and assure you it was done 
unconsciously." 

She was growing calmer. The passion was fading, leaving her face 
still ahd white. She lifted it towards Mr. Carlyle. 

" \{ she had not come between us, should you have loved me?" 

"I don't know. How can I know? Do I not say to you, Barbara, 
that I only thought of you as a friend, as a sister ? I cannot tell what 
might have been." 

" I could bear it better, but that it was known," she murmured. 
" All West Lynne had coupled us together in their prying gossip, and 
they have only pity to cast to me now. I would far rather you had 
killed me, Archibald." 

" I can only express to you my deep regret," he repeated. " I can 
only hope you will soon forget it all. Let the remembrance of this 
conversation pass away with to-night ; let us still be to each other as 



BARBARA HARE'S REVELATION. 123 

friends — as brother and sister. Believe me," he concluded, in a deeper 
tone, " the confession has not lessened you in my estimation." 

He made a movement as though he would get over the stile, but 
Barbara did not stir : the tears were silently coursing down her pallid 
face. At that moment there was an interruption. 

" Is that you, Miss Barbara?" 

Barbara started as though she had been shot. On the other side of 
the stile stood Wilson, their upper maid. How long might she have 
been there ! She began to explain that Mr. Hare had sent Jasper out, 
and Mrs. Hare had thought it better to wait no longer for the man's 
return, so had despatched her, Wilson, for Miss Barbara. Mr. Carlyle 
crossed the stile, and handed over Barbara. 

" You need not come any further now," she said to him, in a low 
tone. 

" I shall see you home," was his reply : and he held out his arm. 
Barbara took it. 

They walked on in silence. Arrived at the back gate of the Grove, 
which gave entrance to the kitchen-garden, Wilson went forward. Mr. 
Carlyle took both Barbara's hands in his. 

" Good night, Barbara. God bless you." 

She had had time for reflection ; and the excitement gone, she saw 
her outbreak in all its shame and folly. Mr. Carlyle noticed how 
subdued and white she looked. 

" I think I have been mad," she groaned. " I must have been mad 
to say what I did. Forget that it was uttered." 

" I told you I would do so." 

" You will not betray me to — to — your wife ? " she panted. 

" Barbara ! " 

" Thank you. Good night." 

But he still retained her hands. " In a short time, Barbara, I trust 
you will find one more worthy to receive your love than I have been." 

" Never," she impulsively answered. " I do not love and forget so 
lightly. In the years to come, in my old age, I shall still be nothing 
but Barbara Hare." 

Mr. Carlyle walked away in a fit of musing. The revelation had 
given him pain (and possibly a little flattery), for he was fond of 
pretty Barbara. Fond in his way ; not in hers ; not with the sort of 
fondness he felt for his wife. He asked his conscience whether his 
manner to her in past days had been a tinge warmer than we bestow 
upon a sister, and he decided that it might have been, but that he most 
certainly had nev^er cast a suspicion to the mischief it was doing. 

" I heartily hope she will soon find some one to her liking, and 
forget me," was his concluding thought. " As to living and dying 
Barbara Hare, that is all moonshine ; the sentimental rubbish that 
girls like to " 

" Archibald ! " 

He was passing the very last tree in the park, the nearest to his 
house, and the interruption came from a dark form standing under it. 

" Is it you, my dearest ? " 

" I came out to meet you. Have you not been very long? " 

" I think I have," he answered, as he drew his wife to his side, and 



124 EAST LYNNE. 

walked on with her. " We met one of the servants at the second stile, 
but I went all the way." 

" You have been intimate with the Hares ? " 

" Quite so. Cornelia is related to them." 

"Do you think Barbara pretty ? " 

" Very." 

*' Then— intimate as you were — I wonder you never fell in love with 
her." 

Mr. Carlyle laughed ; a very conscious laugh, considering the recent 
interview. 

" Did you, Archibald ? " 

The words were spoken in a low tone, almost, or he fancied it, a 
tone of emotion, and he looked at her in amazement. " Did I what, 
Isabel ? " 

"You never loved Barbara Hare?" 

"Loved her I What is your head running on, Isabel? I never 
loved but one woman : and that one I made my wife." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

DEATH OR LIFE. 



Another year came in. Isabel would have been altogether happy 
but for Miss Carlyle : that lady still inflicted her presence upon East 
Lynne, and was the bane of its househould. She deferred outwardly 
to Lady Isabel as mistress ; but the real mistress was herself, Isabel 
little more than an automaton. Her impulses were checked, her wishes 
frustrated, her actions tacitly condemned by the imperiously willed 
Miss Carlyle. Poor Isabel, with her refined manners and her timid 
and sensitive temperament, stood no chance against the strong-minded 
woman, and she was in a state of galling subjection in her own house. 
Mr. Carlyle suspected it not. At home only morning and evening, 
and then generally alone with his wife, and becoming gradually more 
absorbed with the cares of his business, which increased upon him, he 
saw not that anything was wrong. Once, certain counter-orders of the 
two ladies had clashed with each other, and caused a commotion : 
Miss Carlyle immediately withdrew hers, but, in doing so, her pecu- 
liarly ungracious manner was more ungracious than ever. Isabel had 
then hinted to her husband that they might be happier if they lived 
alone ; hinted it with a changing cheek and beating heart, as if she 
were committing a wrong upon Miss Carlyle. He proposed to his 
sister that she should return to her own home ; she turned round and 
accused him of speaking for Isabel. In his truthful open way, he 
acknowledged the fact, making no secret of it. Miss Carlyle bounced 
off and presented herself before Lady Isabel, demanding what offence 
she had committed, and why the house was not large enough for her to 
have a corner in it. Isabel, shrinkingly tenacious of hurting the feelings 
even of an enemy, absolutely made a sort of apology, and afterwards 
begged her husband to think no more of what she had said. He did 
not ; he was easy and unsuspicious ; but had he only gained the faintest 



DEATH OR LIFE. 125 

inkling of the truth, he would not have lost a moment in emancipating 
his wife from the thraldom of Miss Corny. 

Not a day passed but Miss Carlyle, by dint of hints and innuendoes, 
contrived to impress upon Lady Isabel the unfortunate blow to his own 
interests that Mr. Carlyle's marriage had been, the ruinous expense 
she had entailed upon the family. It struck a complete chill to 
Isabel's heart, and she became painfully imbued with the incubus she 
must be to Mr. Carlyle — so far as his purse was concerned. Lord 
Mount Severn, with his little son, had paid them a short visit at 
Christmas, and Isabel had asked him, apparently with unconcern, 
whether Mr. Carlyle had put hmiself very much out of the way to 
marry her ; whether it had entailed on him an expense and a style of 
living he would not otherwise have deemed himself justified in afford- 
ing. Lord Mount Severn's reply was an unfortunate one. He said 
his opinion was that it had, and that Isabel ought to feel grateful to 
him for his generosity. She sighed as she listened, and from thence- 
forth determined to ////?// with Miss CaUyle. That lady contributed 
a liberal share to the maintenance of the household, and would do it ; 
quite as much as would have kept up her establishment at home. She 
was not at East Lynne to save her own pocket, and there lay a greater 
difficulty in getting rid of her. Whether she spent her money at East 
Lynne or not, it would come to the same in the end, for it was known 
that all she had would go to Archibald. 

More timid and sensitive by nature than many would believe of 
can imagine, reared in seclusion more simply and quietly than falls 
to the general lot of peers' daughters, completely inexperienced, 
Isabel was unfit to battle with the world, totally unfit to battle with 
Miss Carlyle. The penniless state in which she was left at her 
father's death : the want of a home, except that accorded her at Castle 
Marling, even the hundred-pound note left in her hand by Mr, Carlyle, 
all had imbued her with a deep consciousness of humiliation ; and, far 
from rebelling at or despising the small establishment (comparatively 
speaking) provided for her by Mr, Carlyle, she felt thankful to him 
for it. But to be told continually that this was more than he could 
afford, tha^t she was in fact a blight upon his prospects, was enough 
to turn her heart to bitterness. Oh, that she had had the courage 
to speak openly to her husband ! that he might, by a single word of 
earnest love and assurance, have taken the weight from her heart, 
and rejoiced it with the truth — that all these miserable complaints 
were but the phantoms of his narrow-minded sister. But Isabel never 
did so ; when Miss Corny lapsed into her grumbling mood, she would 
hear in silence, or gently bend her aching forehead in her hands, never 
retorting. 

One day — it was in the month of February — after a tolerably long 
explosion of wrath on Miss Corny's part, not directed against Isabel, 
but at something which had gone wrong amongst the servants, silence 
supervened, Isabel, who was sitting hstlcss and dispirited, suddenly 
broke it, speaking more to herself than to Miss Carlyle. 

" I wish evening had come ! " 

" Why do you wish that ? " 

" Because Archibald would be at home," 



126 EAST LYNNE. 

Miss Carlyle gave an unsatisfactory grunt. " You seem tired, Lady 
Isabel." 

" I am very tired." 

" I don't wonder at it. I should be tired to death if I sat doing 
nothing all day. Indeed, I think 1 should soon drop into my grave." 

"There's nothing to do," returned Lady Isabel. 

" There's always something to do when people like to look for it. 
You might help me with these new table napkins, rather than do 
nothing." 

" I make table napkins I " exclaimed Lady Isabel. 

" You might do a worse thing, ma'am," snapped Miss Corny. 

" I don't understand that sort of work," said Isabel, gently. 

" Neither does anyone else till they try. For my part, I'd rather 
set on and make and mend shoes, than I'd sit with my hands before me. 
It's a sinful waste of time." 

" I never feel very well now," answered poor Isabel, in an apologetic 
tone. " I am not equal to exertion." 

" Then I'd go out for a drive, and take the air. Moping indoors aU 
day does invalids no good." 

" But, since the ponies started last week and alarmed me, Archibald 
will not allow me to go out, unless he drives me himself." 

" There's nothing the matter with John's driving," returned Miss 
Corny, in her spirit of contradiction. " And in the matter of experi- 
ence, he has had quite as much as your husband, ma'am." 

"John was driving when the ponies took fright." 

"If ponies take fright once, it's no reason why they should a second 
time. Ring the bell, and order John to bring the carriage round : it is 
what I should advise." 

Isabel shook her head decisively. " No : Archibald bade me not go 
out without him, unless it was in the close carriage. He is so careful 
of me just now ; and he knows that I should not be alarmed with him, 
if the ponies did start, as I should be with a servant." 

"It occurs to me that you have grown a little fanciful of late, Lady 
Isabel." 

" I suppose I have," was the meek answer. " I shall be better when 
baby is born : and I shall never feel at a loss then ; I shall have plenty 
to do." 

" So will most of us, I expect," returned Miss Corny, with a groan. 
" Why, what on earth — why, if I don't believe here's Archibald ! 
What brings him home at this time of day ? " 

" Archibald ! " Out she flew in her glad surprise, meeting him in 
the hall, and falling upon him in her delight. " Oh, Archibald, my 
darling, it is as if the sun had shone ! What have you come home 
for ? " 

" To drive you out, love," he whispered, as he took her back with 
him and rang the bell. 

" You never told me this morning." 

" Because I was not sure of being able to come. Peter, let the 
pony-carriage be brought round without delay. I am waiting for it." 

" Why, where are you going with the pony-carriage ? " exclaimed 
Miss Carlyie, as Isabel left the rgom to dre§s. 



DEATH OR LIFE. 127 

" Only for a drive." 

" A drive ! " repeated Miss Corny, looking at him in bewilderment. 

"To take Isabel for one. I shall not trust her to John again, at 
present." 

" Thai's the way to get on with your business ! " retorted Miss Corny, 
when she could find temper to speak. " Deserting the office in the 
middle of the day ! " 

" Isabel's health is of more consequence, just now, than business," 
he returned, good-humouredly. " And you really speak Cornelia, as if 
I had neither Dill to replace me, nor plenty of clerks under him." 

" John is a better driver than you are." 

" He is as good a one. But that is not the question." 

Isabel came down, looking radiant, all her listlessness gone. Mr. 
Carlyle placed her in the carriage, and drove away, Miss Corny gazing 
after them with an expression of face enough to turn a whole dairy of 
milk sour. 

There were many such little episodes as these, so you need not 
wonder that Isabel was not altogether happy. But never, before Mr. 
Carlyle, was the lady's temper vented upon her ; plenty fell to his 
own share when he and his sister were alone ; and he had been so 
accustomed to the sort of thing all his life, had grown so used to it, that 
it made no impression upon him : he never dreamt that Isabel also 
received her portion. 

It was a morning early in April. Joyce sat, in its grey dawn, over 
a large fire in the dressing-room of Lady Isabel Carlyle, her hands 
clasped to pain, and tears coursing down her cheeks. Joyce was 
frightened : she had had some experience in illness ; but illness of this 
nature she had never witnessed, and she was fervently hoping never 
to witness it again. In the adjoining room was Lady Isabel, lying 
between life and death. 

The door from the corridor softly opened, and Miss Carlyle entered. 
She had probably never walked with so gentle a step in all her life, 
and she had a thick wadded mantle over her head and ears. She sat 
down in a chair quite meekly, and Joyce saw that her face looked grey 
as the early morning. 

" Joyce," whispered she, " is there danger ? " 

*' Oh, ma'am, I trust not \ But it's hard to witness, and it must be 
awful to bear." 

" It is our common curse, Joyce. You and I may congratulate our- 
selves that we have not chosen to encounter it. Joyce," she added, 
after a pause, " I trust there's no danger : I should not like her to die." 

Miss Carlyle spoke in a low, dread tone. Was she fearing that if 
her poor young sister-in-law did die, a weight would rest on her con- 
science for all time '^ — a heavy, everpresent weight, whispering that 
she might have rendered her short year of marriage more happy, had 
she chosen ; and that she had not so chosen, but had deliberately 
steeled every crevice of her heart against her .'' Very probably : she 
looked anxious and apprehensive in the dusky twilight. 

" If there's danger, Joyce " 

" Why do you think there is danger, ma'am ? " interrupted Joyce. 
" Are other people not as ill as this ? " 



128 EAST LYNNE. 

" It is to be hoped they are not," rejoined Miss Carlyle, " And why 
is the express gone to Lynneborough for Dr. Martin ? " 

Up started Joyce awe-struck. " An express for Dr. Martin ! Oh, 
ma'am ! Who sent it ? When did it go .'' " 

"All I know is that it's gone. Mr. Wainwright went to your 
master, and he came out of his room and sent John galloping to the 
telegraph-office at West Lynne : where could your ears have been not 
to hear the horse tearing off? / heard it, I know that, and a nice 
fright it put me into. I went to Mr. Carlyle's room to ask what was 
amiss, and he said he did not know himself; nothing, he hoped. And 
then he shut his door again in my face, instead of stopping to speak to 
me as any other Christian would." 

Joyce did not answer : she was faint with apprehension ; and there 
was a silence broken only by the sounds from the next room. Miss 
Carlyle rose, and a fanciful person might have thought she was 
shivering. 

" I can't stand this, Joyce ; I shall go. If they want coffee, or any- 
thing, it can be sent in. Ask." 

" 1 will presently ; in a few minutes," answered Joyce, with a real 
shiver. " You are not going in, are, you, ma'am ? " she uttered in 
apprehension, as Miss Carlyle began to steal on tiptoe to the inner 
door, and Joyce had a lively consciousness that her sight would not 
be an agreeable one to Lady Isabel. "They want the room free, and 
sent me out." 

" No," answered I\Iiss Corny, " I could do no good ; and those, who 
cannot are bettei away." 

" Just what Mr. Wainwright said, when he dismissed me," murmured 
Joyce. And Miss Carlyle finally passed into the corridor and with- 
drew. 

Joyce sat on : the time seemed to her interminable. And then she 
heard the arrival of Dr. Martin ; heard him go into the next room. 
By-and-by Mr. Wainwright came out of it, into the room where Joyce 
was sitting. Her tongue clove to the roof of her mouth, and before 
she could bring out the ominous words, "Is there danger ? " he had 
passed through it. 

Mr. Wainwright was on his way to the apartment where he 
expected to find Mr. Carlyle. The latter was pacing it : he had so 
paced it the whole night. His pale face flushed as the surgeon entered. 

" You have little mercy of my suspense, Wainwright. Dr. Martin 
has been here these tv/enty minutes. What does he say.-*" 

" Well, he cannot say any more than I did. The symptoms are 
critical, but he hopes she v/ill do well. There's nothing for it but 
patience." 

Mr. Carlyle resumed his weary walk. 

" I come now to suggest that you should send for Little. In these 
protracted cases " 

The speech was interrupted by a cry from Mr. Carlyle, h.ilf horror, 
half despair. For the Reverend Mr. Little was the incumbent of St. 
Judc's, and his apprehensions had flown — he hardly knew to what they 
had not flown. 

" Not for your wife 1 " hastily rejoined the surgeon. "I spoke for 



DEATH OR LIFE. mg 

the child. Should it not live, it may be satisfactory to you and Lady 
Isabel to know that it was baptized." 

" I thank you, I thank you," said Mr. Carlyle, grasping his hand in 
his inexpressible relief. " Little shall be sent for." 

" You jumped to the conclusion that your wife's soul was flitting. 
Please God, she may yet live to bear you other children, if this one 
should die." 

" Please God ! " was the inward aspiration of Mr. Carlyle. 

'■' Carlyle," added the surgeon, in a musing sort of tone, as he laid his 
hand on Mr. Carlyle's shoulder, which his own head scarcely reachcfl, 
" I am sometimes at death-beds where the clergyman is sent for, in 
this desperate need, to the fleeting spirit : and I am tempted to ask 
myself what good another man, priest though he be, can do at the 
twelfth hour, where the accounts have not previously been made up ? " 

It was hard upon midday. The Reverend Mr. Little, Mr. Carlyle, 
and Miss Carlyle were gathered in the dressing-room, round a table 
on which stood a rich china bowl, containing water for the baptism. 
Joyce, her pale face working with emotion, came into the room, 
carrying what looked like a bundle of flannel. Little cared Mr. 
Carlyle for that bundle, in comparison with his care for his wife. 

" Joyce," he whispered, " is all well still ? " 

" I believe so, sir." 

The service commenced. The clergyman took the child. " What 
name .'' " he asked. 

Mr. Carlyle had never thought about the name. But he replied 
pretty promptly. 

" William." For he knew it was the name revered and loved by 
Lady Isabel. 

The minister dipped his fingers into the water. Joyce interrupted, 
in much confusion, looking at her master. 

" It is a little girl, sir. I beg your pardon, I'm sure I thought I had 
said so . but I am flurried as I never was before." 

There was a pause, and then the minister spoke again. " Name this 
child." 

" Isabel Lucy," said Mr. Carlyle. Upon which a strange sort of 
resentful sniff was heard from Miss Corny. She had probably thought 
to hear him mention her own ; but he had named it after his wife anil 
his mother. 

Mr. Carlyle was not allowed to see his wife until the evening. His 
eyelashes glistened as he looked down at her. She detected his 
emotion, and a faint smile parted her lips. 

" I fear I bore it badly, Archibald ; but let us be thankful that it is 
over. How thankful, none can know, save those who have gone 
through it." 

" I think they can," he murmured. " I never knew what thankful- 
ness was until this day." 

" That the baby is safe ? " 

" That _you are safe, my darling ; safe and spared to mc. Isabel," 
he whispered, hiding his face upon hers, " I never until to-day knew 
what prayer was — the praj^er of a heart in its sore need." 

" Have you written to Lord Mount Severn ? " she asked, after awhile. 

Kast Lynna. 9 



130 EAST LYNNE. 

" This afternoon," he replied. 
" Why did you give baby my name — Isabel ? " 
" Do you think I could have given it a prettier one ? I don't." 
" Why do you not bring a chair and sit down by me ? " 
He smiled and shook his head. " I wish I might. But they limited 
my stay with you to four minutes, and Wainwright has posted himself 
outside the door with his watch in his hand." 

Quite true. There stood the careful surgeon : and the short inter- 
view was over almost as soon as it had begun. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

WILSON'S GOSSIP. 

The baby lived, and appeared hkely to live, and of course the next 
thing was to look out for a maid for it. Isabel did not grow strong very 
quickly ; fever and weakness had a struggle with each other, and with 
her. One day when she was dressed and sitting in her easy-chair Miss 
T^arlyle entered. 

" Of all the servants in the neighbourhood, who should you suppose 
has come up after the place of nurse ? " she said to Lady Isabel. 

" Indeed I cannot guess." 

" Why, Wilson, Mrs. Hare's maid. Three years and five months she 
has been with them, and now leaves in consequence of a quarrel with 
Barbara. Will you see her ? " 

"Is she likely to suit ? Is she a good servant ? " 

" She's not a bad servant, as servants go," responded Miss Carlyle. 
" She's steady and respectable ; but she has a tongue as long as from 
here to Lynneborough." 

" That won't hurt baby," said Lady Isabel. " But if she has lived as 
lady's-maid, she probably docs not understand the care of infants." 

" Yes, she does. She was upper nurse at Squire Pinner's, before 
going to Mrs. Hare's. She lived there five years." 

" I will see her," said Lady Isabel. 

Miss Carlyle left the room to send the servant in, but came back 
first alone. 

"Mind, Lady Isabel, don't you engage her. If she is likely to suit 
you, let her come again for the answer, and meanwhile I will go down 
to Mrs. Hare's and learn the ins and outs of her leaving. It is all 
very plausible for her to put it upon Barbara, but that is only one 
side of the question. Before engaging her, it may be as well to hear 
the other." 

Of course this was only right. Isabel acquiesced, and the servant was 
introduced : a tall, pleasant-looking woman, with black eyes. Lady 
Isabel inquired why she was leaving Mrs. Hare's. 

" My lady, it was through Miss Barbara's temper. Latterly — oh, 
for this year past — nothing has pleased her ; she has grown nearly as 
imperious as the justice himself. I have threatened many times to 
leave, and last evening we came to another outbreak, and I left this 
morning." 



WILSON'S GOSSIP. 131 

" Left entirely ? " 

" Yes, my lady. Miss Barbara provoked me so, that I said last 
night I would leave as soon as breakfast was over. And I did so. I 
should be very glad to take your situation, my lady, if you would please 
to try me." 

" You have been the upper maid at Mrs. Hare's ? " 

"O h yes, my lady." 

" Then possibly this situation might not suit you so well as you 
imagine. Joyce is the upper servant here, and you would, in a manner, 
be under her. I have great confidence in Joyce ; and in case of my 
illness or absence, Joyce would superintend the nursery." 

" I should not mind that," was the applicant's answer. " We all like 
Joyce, my lady." 

A few more questions, and then the woman was told to come again in 
the evening for her answer. Miss Carlyle went to the Grove for the 
" ins and outs " of the affair, when Mrs. Hare frankly stated that she 
had nothing to urge against Wilson, except her hasty manner of leaving, 
of which she believed the chief blame to be due to Barbara. Wilson 
was therefore engaged, and was to enter upon her new service the 
following morning. 

In the afternoon succeeding to it, Isabel was lying on the sofa in 
her bedroom, asleep, as was' supposed. In point of fact, she was in 
that state, half sleep, half wakeful delirium, which those who suffer 
from weakness and fever know only too well. Suddenly she was 
aroused from it by hearing her own name mentioned in the adjoining 
room, where sat Joyce and Wilson, the latter holding the sleeping 
infant on her knee, the former sewing, the door between the rooms 
being ajar. 

" How ill she looks," observed Wilson. 

" Who ? " asked Joyce. 

" Her ladyship. She looks as if she'd never get over it." 

" She is getting over it quickly, now," returned Joyce. "If you had 
seen her a week ago, you would not say she was looking ill now — 
speaking by comparison." 

" My goodness ! would not somebody's hopes be up again if anything 
should happen ? " 

" Nonsense ! " crossly returned Joyce. 

" You may cry out ' nonsense ' for ever, Joyce, but they would," went 
on Wilson. "And she would snap him up, to a dead certainty : she'd 
never let him escape her a second time. She is as much in love with 
him as she ever was." 

"It was all talk and fancy," said Joyce. "West Lynne must be 
busy. Mr. Carlyle never cared for her." 

" That's more than you know. I have seen a little, Joyce ; I have 
seen him kiss her." 

" A pack of rubbish"! " remarked Joyce. " That tells nothing." 

" I don't say it does': he gave her that locket and chain she wears." 

" Who wears ? " retorted Joyce, determined not graciously to counte- 
nance the subject. " I don't want to hear anything about it." 

" ' Who,' now ! Why, Miss Barbara. She has hardly had it off her 
neck since : my belief is, she wears it in her sleep." 



132 EAST LYNNE. 

" More simpleton she ! " echoed Joyce. 

" The night before he left West Lynne to marry Lady Isabel — and 
didn't the news come upon us like a thunderclap ! — Miss Barbara had 
been at Miss Carlyle's, and he brought her home. A lovely night it 
was, the moon rising, and nearly as light as day. He somehow broke 
her parasol in coming home, and when they reached our gate there was 
a love scene." 

" Were you a third in it ? " sarcastically demanded Joyce. 

" Yes — without meaning to be. That skinflint old justice won't 
allow followers indoors, and there's no seeing anybody on the sly in 
that conspicuous kitchen-garden, where there's nothing higher than a 
cauliflower, so the only chance we have is to get half an hour's chat 
amidst the grove trees in front, if a friend comes up. I was expect- 
ing somebody that evening — a horrid faithless fellow he turned out, 
and went, three months after, and married the barmaid at the Buck's 
Head — and 1 was in the trees waiting for him. Up came Mr. Carlyle 
and Miss Barbara. She wanted him to go in, but he would not, and 
they stood there. Something was said about the locket, and about his 
giving her a piece of his hair to put in it : I could not catch the words 
distinctly, and I did not dare to stir nearer, for fear of their hearing 
me. It was a regular love scene ; I could hear enough for that. If 
ever anybody thought to be Mrs. Carlyle, Barbara Hare did that 
night." 

" Why, you great gaby ! You have just said it was the night before 
he went to be married ; " 

'' I don't care ; she did. After he was gone, I saw her lift up her 
hands and her face in ecstasy, and say he could never know how much 
she loved him until she was his wife. Be you very sure, Joyce, many 
a love passage had passed between them two ; but I suppose when 
my lady was thrown in his way he couldn't resist her rank and her 
beauty, and the old love was cast over. It is in the nature of man to 
be fickle, especially those that can boast of their own good looks, like 
Mr. Carlyle." 

" Mr. Carlyle's not fickle." 

" I can tell you some more yet. Two or three days after that, Miss 
Corny came up to our house with the news of his marriage. I was 
in mistress's bedroom, and they were in the room underneath, the 
windows open, and I heard Miss Corny tell the talc, for I was leaning 
out. Up came Miss Barbara upon an excuse and flew into her room, 
and I went into the corridor. A few moments, and I heard a noise ; 
it was a sort of wail, or groan, and I opened the door softly, fearing 
she might be fainting. Joyce, if my heart never ached for anybody 
Ijcfore, it ached then. She was lying on the floor, her hands writhed 
together, and her poor face all white, like one in mortal agony. I'd 
have given a quarter's wages to be able to say a word of comfort to 
her ; but I didn't dare interfere with such sorrow as that. I came out 
a',!;ain and shut the door without her seeing me." 

"^ How thoroughly stupid she must have been," uttered Joyce, "to go 
caring for one who did not care for her ! " 

" I tell you, Joyce, you don't know that he did not care. You are 
as obstinate as the justice ! And I wish to goodness you wouldn't 



WILSON'S GOSSIP. 133 

interrupt me. They canie up here to pay the wedding visit, master, 
mistress, and she ; came in state in the grand chariot, with the coach- 
man and Jasper ; if you have any memory at all, you can't fail to 
recollect it. Miss r>arbara remained behind at East Lynne to spend 
the rest of the day." 

" I remember it." 

" I was sent to attend her home in the evening, Jasper being out. I 
came the field way ; for the dust by the road was enough to smother 
one, and at the last stile but one, what do you think I came upon ? " 

Joyce lifted her eyes. " A snake, perhaps." 

" 1 came upon Miss Barbara and Mr. Carlyle. What had passed, 
nobody knows but themselves. She was leaning against the stile, 
crying ; sobs breaking from her, like one might expect to hear from 
a breaking heart. It seemed as if she had been reproaching him, as if 
some explanation had passed, and I heard him say that from hence- 
forth they could only be brother and sister. I spoke soon, for fear 
they should see me, and Mr. Carlyle got over the stile. Miss Barbara 
said to him that he need not come any farther, but he just held out 
his arm and came with her to our back gate. I went on then to open 
the door, and I saw him with his head bent down to her, and her two 
hands held in his. We don't know how it was between them, I tell 
you." 

" At any rate, she is a downright fool to suffer herself to love him 
still ! " uttered Joyce, indignantly. 

" So she is, but she does do it. She'll often steal out of the gate 
about the time she knows he'll be passing, and watch him by, not 
letting him see her. It is nothing but her unhappiness, her jealousy of 
Lady Isabel, that makes her cross : I assure you, Joyce, in this past 
year she has so changed that she's not like the same person. If Mr. 
Carlyle should ever get tired of my lady, and " 

"Wilson!" harshly interrupted Joyce. "Have the goodness to 
recollect yourself." 

" What have I said now ? Nothing but truth. Men are shamefully 
fickle ; husbands worse than sweethearts, and I'm sure I'm not think- 
ing of anything wrong. But to go back to the argument that we began 
with — I say that if anything happened to my lady. Miss Barbara, as 
sure as fate, would step into her shoes." 

" Nothing is going to happen to her," returned Joyce, with com- 
posure. 

" I hope it is not, now or later — for the sake of this dear little inno- 
cent thing upon my lap," went on the undaunted Wilson. " She would 
not make a very kind stepmother, for it is certain that where the first 
wife has been hated, her children won't be loved. She would turn 
Mr. Carlyle against them " 

" I tell you what it is, Wilson," interrupted Joyce, in a firm, unmis- 
takable tone, " if you think to pursue these sort of topics at East 
Lynne, I shall inform my lady that you are unsuited to the situation." 

" I dare say ! " 

" And you know that when I make up my mind to a thing, I do it," 
continued Joyce. " Miss Carlyle may well say you have the longest 
tongue in West Lynne ; but you might have the grace to know that 



134 EAST LYNNE. 

this subject is one more unsuited to it than another, whether you 
are eating Mr. Hare's bread, or whether you are eating Mr. Carlyle's. 
Another word, Wilson : it appears to me that you have carried on a 
prying system in Mrs. Hare's house ; do not attempt such a thing in 
this." 

" You were always one of the straitlaced sort, Joyce," cried Wilson, 
laughing good-humouredly, " But now that I have had my say out, I 
shall stop ; and you need not fear I should be such a simpleton as to 
go prattling of this kind of thing to the servants." 

Now just fancy this conversation penetrating to Lady Isabel. She 
heard it, every word. It is all very well to oppose the argument, 
" Who attends to the gossip of servants ? " Let me tell you it depends 
upon what the subject may be, whether the gossip is attended to or 
not. It might not, and indeed would not, have made so great an im- 
pression upon her had she been in strong health, but she was wf ak, 
feverish, in a state of partial delirium : and she hastily took up the 
idea that Archibald Carlyle had never loved her, that he had admired 
her and made her his wife in his ambition, but that his heart had been 
given to Barbara Hare. 

A pretty state of excitement she worked herself into as she lay 
there ; jealousy and fever, ay, and love too, playing pranks with her 
brain. It was near the dinner-hour, and when Mr. Carlyle entered, he 
was startled to see her ; her pallid cheeks were burning with a hectic 
flush, and her eyas glistened with fever. 

" Isabel, you are worse ! " he uttered, approaching her with a quick 
step. 

She partially rose from the sofa, and clasped him in her emotion. 
" Oh, Archibald ! Archibald ! " she uttered, " don't marry her ! I 
could not rest in my grave." 

Mr. Carlyle, in his puzzled astonishment, believed her to be labour- 
ing under some temporary hallucination, the result of weakness. He 
attempted to soothe her, but it seemed that she could not be soothed. 
She burst into a storm of tears, and began again ; wild words. 

" She would ill-treat my child ; she would draw your love from it, 
and from my memory. Archibald, you must not marry her." 

" You must be speaking from the influence of a dream, Isabel," he 
soothingly said ; " you have been asleep, and are not yet awake. Be 
still, and recollection will return to you. There, love ; rest upon me." 

" To think of her as your wife brings pain enough to kill me," she 
continued to reiterate. " Promise me that you will not marry her : 
Archibald, promise it ! " 

" I will promise you anythmg in reason," he replied, bewildered by 
her words, " but I do not know what you mean. There is no possibility 
of my marrying any one, Isabel : you are my wife." 

" But if I die ? I may ; you know I may ; and many think I shall — 
do not let her usurp my place." 

" Indeed she shall not — whoever you may be talking of. What have 
you.ijecn dreaming.'' Who is it that is troubling your mind?" 

"Archibald, do you need to ask.'' Did you love no one before you 
married me? Perhaps you have loved her since — ^perhaps you love 
her still ? " 



WILSON'S GOSSIP. 135 

Mr. Carlyle began to discern " method in her madness." He changed 
his cheering tone to one of grave earnestness, " Of whom do you speak, 
Isabel?" 

" Of Barbara Hare." 

He knitted his brow ; he was both annoyed and vexed. What had 
put this bygone nonsense into his wife's head? He quitted the sofa 
where he had been supporting her, and stood upright before her, calm, 
dignified, almost solemn in his seriousness. 

" Isabel, what notion you can possibly have picked up about myself 
and Barbara Hare, I am unable to conceive. I never loved Barloara 
Hare ; I never entertained the faintest shadow of love for her ; either 
before my marriage or since. You must tell me what has given rise to 
this idea in your mind." 

" But she loved you." 

A moment's hesitation ; for of course Mr. Carlyle was conscious that 
she had ; but, taking all the circumstances into consideration, more espe- 
cially how he learnt the fact, he could not in honour acknowledge it even 
to his wife. "If it was so, Isabel, she was more reprehensibly foolish 
than I should have given Barbara's good sense credit for : a woman 
may almost as well lose herself, as suffer herself to love unsought. If 
she did give her love to me, I can only say I was utterly unconscious 
of it. Believe me, you have as much cause to be jealous of Cornelia, 
as you have of Barbara Hare." 

Isabel sighed. It was a sigh of relief, and her breath grew calmer. 
She felt inexpressibly reassured. Mr. Carlyle bent his head, and spoke 
in a tender, though a pained tone. 

" I had not thought that the past year was quite thrown away. 
What proof can a man give of true and earnest love, that I have not 
given to you ? " 

She looked up, her eyelashes wet with contrition, took his hand and 
held it between hers. " Don't be angry with me, Archibald : the 
trouble and the doubt would not have arisen had I cared for you less." 

He smiled again, his own fond smile, and bent lower, "And now 
tell me what put this into your brain ? " 

An impulse arose within her that she would tell him all ; the few words 
dropped by Susan and Joyce twelve months before ; the conversation 
she had just overheard ; but in that moment of renewed confidence it 
appeared to her that she must have been very foolish to attach im- 
portance to it — that a sort of humiliation, in listening to the converse of 
servants, was reflected on her ; and she remained silent. 

"Has any one been striving to bias your mind against me?" he 
resumed. 

" Archibald ! no. Would any one dare to do it ? " 

" Then did you dream ?^ — and could not forget it on awaking ? " 

" I do sometimes dream strange things, especially in my feverish 
afternoon sleeps. I think I am a little delirious at times, Archibald, 
and do not know what is real, and what is fancy." 

The answer, while expressing correctly her physical state, was an 
evasive one, but not evasively did it fall upon the ear of Mr. Carlyle. 
It presented to him the only probable solution to the enigma, and he 
never questioned it. 



136 EAST LYNNK 

'' Don't have any more of these dreams if you can help it," he saicL 
" Regard them for what they are — illusions, neither pleasant for you, 
nor fair to me. I am bound to you by fond ties as well as by legal 
ones, remember, Isabel ; and it is out of Barbara Hare's power to step 
in between us." 

There never was a passion in this world, there never will be one, so 
fantastic, so delusive, so powerful as jealousy. Mr. Carlyle dismissed 
the episode from his thoughts ; he believed his wife's emotion to have 
arisen simply from a feverish dream, and never supposed but that, 
with the dream, its recollection would pass away from her. Not so. 
Implicitly relying upon her husband's words at the moment, feeling 
quite ashamed of her own suspicion. Lady Isabel afterwards suftered 
the unhappy fear to regain its influence ; the ill-starred revelations of 
Wilson reasserted their power, over-mastering the denial of Mr. Carlyle. 
Shakespeare calls jealousy yellow and green : I think it may be called 
black and white, for it most assuredly views white as black, and black 
as white. The most fanciful surmises wear the aspect of truth, the 
greatest improbabilities appear as consistent realities. Isabel said not 
another word to her husband ; and the feeling — yo'.' will understand 
tliis if you have ever been foolish enough to sun yourself in its delights 
— only caused her to grow more attached to him, to be more eager 
for his love. But certain it is that Barbara Hare dwelt on her heart as 
an incubus. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

CAPTAIN THORN AT WEST LYNNE. 

" Barbara, how fine the day seems ! " 

" It is a beautiful day, mamma." 

" I think I should be all the better for going out." 

" I am sure you would be, mamma," was Barbara's answer. "If you 
went out more, you would find the benefit of doing so : every fine day 
you ought to do so." 

"But I have not spirits for it, dear," sighed Mrs. Hare. "The first 
bright days of spring, the first warm days of summer, always have an 
exhilarating effect upon me. I think I must go out to-day. There's 
your papa in the garden : ask him if it will be convenient to him." 

Barbara was darting off, but arrested her steps for a moment. 
" Mamma, you have been talking these three weeks of buying the new 
dresses and other things that we require : why not do so to-day ? " 

"Well— I don't know," hesitated Mrs. Hare, in the irresolution 
natural to her. 

" Yes, yes ; you will not find a better opportunity." And away went 
Barbara. 

Justice Hare was in his front garden, imperiously pointing out to 
his servant, Benjamin, something wliich had not been done according 
to his directions. Benjamin fultilled the duties of coachman and 
groom at the Grove, filling up his spare time with gardening. He 
was a married nian, and slept at home, though he took his meals in 



CAPTAIN THORN AT WEST LYNNE. 137 

the house ; coming to it early, and going away late. The justice was 
in his dressing-gown and wig, and was working himself into a passion 
when Barbara approached. She was the only one of the three children 
not afraid of her father ; Barbara stood in awe of him, but not so 
utterly as the others. 

'• Papa." 

" What do you want ? " said the justice, turning round his portly 
person. 

" Mamma thinks that it would do her good to go out this fine day. 
Can we have the carriage ? " 

The justice paused before he answered, and looked up at the sky, 
" Where does she want to be off to ? " 

"We wish to do some shopping, please, papa. Only in West 
Lynne," hastily added Barbara, seeing a cloud rise on the paternal 
countenance. " Not at Lynneborough." 

" And your mamma thinks I am going to drive her ! " cried Justice 
PI are. " I'd see the shops further, tirst. The last time you and she 
went into one, you kept me waiting an hour and a half." 

" Benjamin can drive us, papa." 

Mr. Hare strode pompously across the grass to the dining-room 
window, threw it up, and addressed his wife. Barbara drew close, 
and stood timidly at his side. 

"Do you say you want to go shopping to-day, Anne ? " 

" Not particularly to-day," was the meek answer, meekly delivered ; 
" any day will do for it. Do you think of using the carriage yourself? " 

" I don't know," replied the justice. The fact is, he had not thought 
about it at all ; but he liked every scheme, every movement to be pro- 
posed by himself, to be regulated by his own will. 

" The day is so fine that I think I should like to take advantage of 
it," said Mrs. Hare. "And Barbara must have her summer dresses 
bought." 

" She's always having dresses bought," growled the justice. 

" Oh, papa ! I " 

" Silence, young lady ;"you have twice as many as you need." 

" Perhaps, Richard, I might manage to walk in and back again, 
without being much fatigued, if you cannot spare me the carriage," said 
Mrs. Hare, gently. 

" And have you laid up for a week ! What next ! The idea of your 
walking into West Lynne and back again ! that would be a piece of 
folly." 

The justice shut down the window, and strode back to Benjamin, 
leaving Mrs. Hare and Barbara at an uncertainty : were they to go, 
or were they not ? Barbara went indoors to her mother. 

" Barbara, dear, I wonder where your papa was thinking of going in 
the carriage .'' " 

" I don't believe he was going anywhere," replied independent 
Miss Barbara. 

" Oh, child ! " 

"Well, I don't. Only he always must oppose everybody. Mamma, 
I do think you might walk in, and we could come back in one of 
Coke's flys." 



138 EAST LYNNE. 

Mrs. Hare shook her head. " I have no doubt I could walk quite 
well one way, Barbara : but I should not think of doing so, unless 
your papa approved." 

Barbara was looking from the window. She saw Benjamin gather 
up his garden tools and put them away. He then crossed to the 
narrow side-path which led d6wn by the house to the back, where the 
stables were situated. Barbara ran through the hall and intercepted 
him. 

" Has papa given any orders about the carriage, Benjamin ? " 
" Yes, miss. I am to drive you and mistress into West Lynne. I 
was to get ready directly," he said. 

Back waltzed Barbara. " Mamma, it is all right : Benjamin has gone 
to get the carriage ready. You would like luncheon before you go ? 
I will order in the tray." 

"Anything you please, my dear," said the sweet-tempered, gentle 
woman. " I don't know why, but I feel glad to go out to-day : 
perhaps because it is so lovely." 

Benjamin made ready his carriage and himself, drove out of the 
yard, and brought the carriage round to the front gate. As Mrs. Hare 
and Barbara went down the path, Mr. Hare was in the garden still. 

" Thank you, Richard," she said, as she passed him, a loving smile 
hghting her delicate face.? 

" Mind you are home by dinner-time, and don't let Barbara spend 
too much money," cried the justice, in return. But he was not polite 
enough to go and hand them in. 

The carriage — or phaeton, as it was often called — was a somewhat 
old-fashioned concern, as many country things often are. A small 
box in front for the driver, and a wide seat with a head behind, accom- 
modating Barbara well between them when Mr. and Mrs. Hare both 
sat in it. Mr. Hare, however, generally drove himself, taking no 
servant. The head was down to-day, but it was found useful in rainy 
weather ; and there were a double set of poles, so that one horse or a 
pair might be driven in it. Very rarely, never unless they were going 
a distance, was a pair used ; the long-tailed, black coach-hOrses were 
taken out in turn, for the justice kept only that pair, and a saddle-horse 
for himself. 

Benjamin drew the rug carefully over his mistress's knees — the 
servants did not like Mr. Hare, but would have laid down their lives 
for her — ascended to his box, and drove them to their destination, 
the linendraper's. It was an excellent shop, situated a little beyond 
the office of Mr. Carlyle, and Mrs. Hare and Barbara were soon 
engaged in that occupation said to possess a fascination for all women. 
They had been deep in it about an hour, when Mrs. Hare discovered 
that her bag was missing. 

" I must have left it in the carriage, Barbara. Go and bring it, will 
you, my dear ? the pattern of that silk is in it." 

Barbara went out. The carriage and Benjamin, and the sleek old 
horse were all waiting drowsily together. Barbara could not see the 
bag, and she appealed to the servant. 

" Find mamma's bag, Benjamin. It must be somewhere in thf 
carriage." 



CAPTAIN THORN AT WEST LYNNE. 139 

Benjamin got ofif his box, and began to search. Barbara waited, 
gazing hstlessly down the street. The sun was shining brilliantly, 
and its rays fell upon the large cable chain of a gentleman who was 
sauntering idly up the pavement, making its gold links and its droop- 
ing seal and key glitter, as they crossed his waistcoat. It shone also 
upon the enamelled gold studs of his shirt front, and as he suddenly 
raised his ungloved hand, a white hand, to stroke his moustache — by 
which action you may know a vain man- — a diamond ring gleamed with 
a light that was positively dazzling. Involuntarily Barbara thought of 
the description her brother Richard had given of certain dazzling 
jewels worn by another. 

She watched him advance. He was a handsome man of, perhaps, 
seven or eight and twenty, tall, slender, and well made, his eyes and 
hair black. A very pleasant expression sat upon his countenance, 
and on the left hand he wore a light buff kid glove, and was swinging 
its fellow by the fingers, apparently in deep thought, as he softly 
whistled to himself. But for the great light cast at that moment by 
the sun, Barbara might not have noticed the jewellery, or connected 
it in her mind with the other jewellery in that unhappy secret. 

" Halloa ! Thorn, is that you ? Just step over here ! " 

The speaker was Otway Bethel, who was on the opposite side of 
the street ; the spokcn-to, the gentleman with the jewellery. But the 
latter was in a brown study, and did not hear. Bethel called out again, 
louder. 

" Captain Thorn ! " 

That was heard. Captain Thorn nodded, and turned short off 
across the street. Barbara stood as one in a dream, her brain, her 
mind, her fancy all a confused mass together. 

" Here's the bag. Miss Barbara. It had got among the folds of 
the rug." 

Benjamin held it out to her, but she took no notice of it : she was un- 
conscious of all external things, save one. That she beheld the real 
murderer of Hallijohn she entertained no manner of doubt. In every 
particular he tallied with the description given by Richard : tall, dark, 
vain, handsome, delicate hands, jewellery, and — Captain Thorn! 
Barbara's cheeks grew white, and her heart turned sick. 

" The bag. Miss Barbara." 

But Barbara was gone, leaving Benjamin and the bag. She had 
caught sight of Mr. Wainwright, the surgeon, at a little distance, and 
sped towards him. 

" Mr. Wainwright," began she, forgetting ceremony in her agitation, 
" you see that gentleman talking to Otway Bethel. Who is he ? " 

Mr. Wainwright had to put his glasses across the bridge of his nose 
before he could answer, for he was short-sighted. " That ? Oh, it is 
a Captain Thorn. He is visiting the Herberts, I believe." 

" Where does he come from } Where does he live ? " reiterated 
Barbara, in her eagerness. 

" I don't know anything about him. I saw him this morning with 
young Smith, and he told me he was a friend of the Herberts. You 
are not looking well, Miss Barbara." 

She made no answer. Captain Thorn and Mr. Bethel came walking 



I40 EAST LYNNE. 

down the street, and the latter saluted her, but she was too con- 
fused to respond to it. Mr. Wainwright then wished her good day, 
and Barbara walked slowly back. Mrs. Hare was appearing at the 
shop door. 

" My dear, how long you are ! Cannot the bag be found ? " 

" I went to speak to Mr. Wainwright," answered Barbara, mechani- 
cally taking the bag from Benjamin and giving it to her mother, her 
whole heart and eyes still absorbed with that one object moving away 
in the distance. 

" You look pale, child. Are you well ? " 

" Oh yes, quite. Let us get our shopping over, mamma." 

She moved on to their places at the counter as she spoke, eager to 
" get it over " and be at home, that she might have time for thought. 
Mrs. Hare wondered what had come to her ; the pleasant interest 
previously displayed in their purchases was now gone, and she sat 
inattentive and absorbed. 

" Now, my dear, it is only waiting for you to choose. Which of the 
two silks will you have ? " 

" Either. Any. Take which you like, mamma." 

" Barbara, what has come to you ? " 

" I believe I am tired," said Barbara, with a forced laugh, as she 
compelled herself to pay some sort of attention. " I don't like the 
green : I will take the other." 

They arrived at home. Barbara was five minutes alone in her 
chamber, before dinner was on the table. All the conclusion she 
could come to, was that she could do nothing, except tell the facts to 
Archibald Carlyle. 

How could she contrive to see him ? The business might admit of 
no delay. She supposed she must go to East Lynne that evening ; 
but where would be her excuse for it at home .'' Puzzling over it, she 
went down to dinner. During the meal, Mrs. Hare began talking of 
some silk she had purchased for a mantle. She should have it made 
like Miss Carlyle's new one. When Miss Carlyle was at the Grove the 
other day, about Wilson's character, she had offered her the pattern, 
and she, Mrs. Hare, would send one of the servants up for it, 'after 
dinner., 

" Oh, mamma, let me go ! " burst forth Barbara. She spoke so 
vehemently, that the justice paused in his carving, and demanded what 
ailed her. Barbara made some timid excuse. 

" Her eagerness is natural, Richard," smiled Mrs. Hare. "Barbara 
thinks she shall get a peep at the baby, I expect. All young folks are 
fond of babies." 

Barbara's foce flushed : but she did not contradict the opinion. 
She could not eat her dinner, for she was too full of poor 
Richard : she played with it and then sent away her plate, almost 
untouched. 

" That's through the finery she has been buying," pronounced Justice 
Hare. " Her head is stuffed with it." 

No opposition was offered to Barbara's going to East Lynne. She 
reached it just as dinner was over. It was for Miss Carlyle she 
asked. 



CAPTAIN THORN AT WEST LYNNE. 141 

'• Miss Carlyle is not at home, miss. She is spending the day out ; 
and my lady docs not receive visitors yet." 

It was a sort of checkmate. Barbara was compelled to say she 
would see Mr. Carlyle. Peter ushered her into the drawing-room, and 
Mr. Carlyle came to her. 

" I am so very sorry to disturb you ; to have asked for you," began 
Barbara, with a burning face, for a certain evening interview of hers 
with him, twelve months before, was disagreeably present to her. 
Never, since that evening of agitation, had Barbara suffered herself to 
betray emotion to Mr. Carlyle : her manners to him had been calm, 
courteous, and indifferent. And she now more frequently called him 
" Mr. Carlyle" than "Archibald." 

" Take a seat, take a scat, Barbara." 

" I asked for Miss Carlyle," she continued, " for mamma is in want 
of a pattern that she promised to lend her ; but, in point of fact, it was 
you I wished to see. You remember the Lieutenant Thorn, whom 
Richard spoke of as being the real criminal ? " 

" Yes." 

" I think he is at West Lynne." 

Mr. Carlyle was aroused to eager interest. " He ! That same Thorn ? " 

" It can be no other. Mamma and I were shopping to-day, and I 
went out for her bag which she had left in the carriage. While 
Benjamin was finding it, I saw a stranger coming up the street : a tall, 
good-looking, dark-haired man, with a conspicuous gold chain and 
studs. The sun was full upon him, causing the ornaments to shine, 
especially a diamond ring he wore, for he had one hand raised to 
his face. The thought flashed over me, ' That is like the description 
Richard gave of the man Thorn.' Why the idea should have occurred 
to me in that strange manner I do not know, but it most assuredly did 
occur, though I did not really suppose him to be the same. Just then 
I heard him spoken to by some one on the other side of the street ; it 
was Otway Bethel, and he called him Captain ThortiP 

" That is curious indeed, Barbara. I did not know any stranger was 
at W^cst Lynne." 

" I saw Mr. Wainwright, and asked him who it was. He said a 
Captain Thorn, a friend of the Herberts. A Lieutenant Thorn four or 
five years ago would probably be Captain Thorn now." 

Mr. Carlyle nodded, and there was a pause. 

" What can be done ? " asked Barbara. 

Mr. Carlyle was passing one hand over his brow ; it was a habit of 
his when deep in thought. "It is hard to say what is to be done, 
Barbara. The description you give of this man certainly tallies with 
that given by Richard. Did he look like a gentleman ? " 

" Very much so. A remarkably aristocratic-looking man, as it 
struck me." 

Mr. Carlyle again nodded assentingly. He remembered Richard's 
words, when describing the other : " an out-and-out aristocrat." " Of 
course, Barbara, the first thing must be to try and ascertain whether 
it is the same," he observed. " If we find that it is, then we must 
deliberate upon future measures. I will see what I can find out, and 
let you know." 



142 EAST LYNNE. 

Barbara rose. Mr. Carlyle escorted her across the hall, and then 
strolled down the park by her side, deep in the subject ; and quite 
unconscious that Lady Isabel's jealous eyes were watching them from 
her dressing-room window. 

" You say he seemed intimate with Otway Bethel ? " 
" As to being intimate, I do not know. Otway Bethel spoke as 
though he knew him." 

" This must have caused excitement to Mrs. Hare." 
" You forget that mamma was not told anything about Thorn," was 
Barbara's answer. '"The uncertainty would have worried her to 
death. All Richard said to her was, that he was innocent, that it was 
a stranger who did the deed, and she asked for no particulars : she has 
implicit faith in Richard's truth." 

" True ; I did forget," replied Mr. Carlyle. " I wish we could find 
out some one who knew the other Thorn. To ascertain that they were 
the same would be a great point gained." 

He went as far as the park gates with Barbara, shook hands, and 
wished her good evenmg. Scarcely had she departed, when Mr. 
Carlyle saw two gentlemen advancing from the opposite direction, in 
one of whom he recognized Tom Herbert, and the other — instinct told 
him — was Captain Thorn. He waited until they came up. 

" If this isn't lucky, seeing you," cried Mr. Tom Herbert, who was a 
free-and-easy sort of gentleman, the second son of a brother-justice of 
Mr. Hare's. " I wish to goodness you'd give us a draught of your 
cider, Carlyle, We went up to Beauchamp's for a stroll, but found 
them all out ; and I'm awfully thirsty. Captain Thorn, Carlyle." 

Mr. Carlyle invited them to his house, and ordered refreshments. 
Young Herbert coolly threw himself into an arm-chair and lit a cigar. 
" Come, Thorn," cried he, " here's a weed for you." 

Captain Thorn glanced towards Mr. Carlyle : he appeared of a far 
more gentlemanly nature than Tom Herbert. 

" You'll have one too, Carlyle," said Herbert, holding out his cigar- 
case. " Oh, I forgot ; you are a muff; don't smoke one twice in a year. 
I say, how's Lady Isabel?" 
" Very ill still." 

" By Jove ! is she, though ? Tell her I am sorry to hear it, will you, 
Carlyle ? But — I say ! will she smell the smoke ? " asked he, with a 
mixture of alarm and concern in his face. 

Mr. Carlyle reassured him upon that point, and turned to Captain 
Thorn. 

" Are you acquainted with this neighbourhood ? " 
Captain Thorn smiled. " I only reached West Lynne yesterday. 
" You were never here before, then ? " continued Mr. Carlyle, setting 
down the last as a probably evasive answer. 
" No." 

"He and my brother Jack, you know, are in the same regiment," 
put in Tom Herl^crt, with scant ceremony. " Jack had invited him 
down for some fishing, and Thorn arrives. But he never sent word he 
was coming. Jack had given him up, and is off on some Irish expe- 
dition, the deuce knows where. Precious unlucky that it should have 
happened so Thorn siyT he shill cut short hi.; stay, and go again." 



CAPTAIN THORN AT WEST LYNNE. 143 

The conversation turned upon fishing, and in the heat of argument 
the stranger mentioned a certain pond, and its famous eels — " the 
Low Pond." Mr. Carlyle looked at him, speaking, however, in a care- 
less manner. 

" Which do you mean ? We have two ponds not far apart, each 
called the ' Low Pond.' " 

" I mean the one on an estate about three miles from here : Squire 
Thorpe's, unless I am mistaken." 

Mr. Carlyle smiled. " I think you must have been in the neighbour- 
hood before, Captain Thorn. Sqaire Thorpe is dead, and the property 
has passed to his daughter's husband, and that Low Pond was filled 
up three years ago." 

" I have heard a friend mention it," was Captain Thorn's reply, 
spoken in an indifferent tone, though he evidently wished not to 
pursue the subject. 

Mr. Carlyle, by easy degrees, turned the conversation upon Swain- 
son, the place whence Richard Hare's Captain Thorn was suspected to 
have come. The present Captain Thorn said he knew it " a little," he 
had once been " staying there a short time." Mr. Carlyle became 
almost convinced that Barbara's suspicions were correct. The descrip- 
tions certainly agreed, as far as he could judge, in the most minute 
particulars. The man before him wore two rings, a diamond — and 
a very beautiful diamond, too — on the one hand, a seal ring on the 
other ; his hands were delicate to a degree, and his handkerchief, 
a cambric one of unusually fine texture, was not quite guiltless of 
scent : a mark of dandyism, which, in the other Captain Thorn, used 
considerably to annoy Richard. Mr. Carlyle quitted the room for a 
moment, and summoned Joyce to him. 

" My lady has been asking for you, sir," said Joyce. 

" Tell her I will be up the moment these gentlemen leave. Joyce," 
he added, " find an excuse for coming into the room presently ; you can 
bring something or other in ; I want you to look at this stranger who 
is with young Mr. Herbert. Notice him well ; I fancy you may have 
seen him before." 

Mr. Carlyle returned to the room, leaving Joyce surprised. But 
she presently followed, taking in some water, and lingered a few 
minutes, apparently placing the things on the table in better order. 

When the two departed, Mr. Carlyle called Joyce, before proceed- 
ing to his wife's room. " Well .'' " he questioned, '' did vou recognize 
him ? " 

" Not at all, sir. He seemed quite strange to me." 

" Cast your thoughts back, Joyce. Did you never see him in years 
gone by .'' " 

Joyce looked puzzled, but she replied in the negative. 

" Is he the man, think you, who used to ride over from Swainson to 
see Afy ? " 

Joyce's face flushed crimson. " Oh, sir ! " was all she uttered. 

" The name is the same. Thorn : I thought it possible the man 
might be the same also," observed Mr. Carlyle. 

" Sir, I cannot say. I never saw that Captain Thorn but once, and 
I don't know — I don't know" — Joyce spoke slowly and with considera- 



144 EAST LYNNE. 

tion — " that I should at all know him again. I did not think of him 
when I looked at this gentleman ; but, at any rate, no appearance in 
this one struck upon my memory as being familiar to me." 

So, from Joyce Mr. Carlyle obtained no clue, one way or the other. 
The following day he sought out Otway Bethel. 

" Are you intimate with that Captain Thorn who is staying with the 
Herberts?" asked he. 

" Yes," answered Bethel, derisively, " if passing a couple of hours in 
his company can constitute intimacy. That's all I have seen of 
Thorn." 
I " Are you sure ? " pursued Mr. Carlyle. 

" Sure ! " returned Bethel ; " why, what are you driving at now ? I 
called in at Herberts' the night before last, and Tom asked me to stay 
the evening. Thorn had just arrived. A jolly bout we had : cigars and 
cold punch." 

" Bethel," said Mr. Carlyle, dashing to the point, " is it the Thorn 
who used to go after Afy Hallijohn ? Come, you can tell if you like." 

Bethel remained dumb for a moment, apparently with amazement. 
" What a confounded he ! " uttered he, at length. " Why, it's no more 
that Thorn than — What Thorn ? " he iDroke oft", abruptly. 

" You are equivocating. Bethel. The Thorn who was mixed up — or 
said to be — in the Hallijohn affair. Is this thi same man ?" 

" You are a fool, Carlyle : which is what I never took you to be 
yet," was Mr. Bethel's rejoinder, spoken in a savage tone. " I have 
told you that I never knew there was any Thorn mixed up with Afy, 
and I should like to know why my word is not to be believed ? I never 
saw Thorn in my life till I saw him the other night at the Herberts', 
and that I would take an oath to, if put to it." 

Bethel quitted Mr. Carlyle with the last word, and the latter gazed 
after him, revolving points in his brain. The mention of Thorn's 
name (the one spoken of by Richard Hare) appeared to excite some 
sore feeling in Bethel's mind, rousing it to irritation. Mr. Carlyle 
remembered that it had done so previously, and now it had done so 
again : and yet. Bethel was an easy-natured man in general, far better 
tempered than principled. That there was something hidden, some 
mystery connected with the affair, Mr. Carlyle felt sure, but he could 
not attempt so much as a guess at what it might be ; and his interview 
with Bethel brought him no nearer the point he wished to find out — 
whether this Thorn was the same man. In walking back to his office, 
he met Mr. Toni Herbert. 

" Does Captain Thorn purpose making a long stay with you?" he 
stopped him to inquire. 

'' He's gone ; I have just seen him off by the train," was the reply of 
Tom Herbert. " It seemed rather slow work for him Avithout Jack, 
so he shortened his visit, and says he will pay us one when Jack's to 
the fore." 

As Mr. Carlyle went home to dinner that evening, he entered the 
Grove, ostensiI)ly to make a short call on Mrs. Hare. Barbara, on the 
tenter-hooks of impatience, accompanied him outside when he departed, 
and walked down the path. 

" What have you learned ? " she eagerly asked. 



CAPTAIN THORN AT WEST LYNNE. 145 

" Nothing satisfactory," was the reply of Mr. Carlyle. " The man is 
gone." 

" Gone ! " said Barbara. 

Mr. Carlyle explained. He told her how they had come to his 
house the previous evening after Barbara's departure, and his encounter 
with Tom Herbert that day : he mentioned, also, his interview with 
Bethel. 

" Can he have gone away on purpose, fearing consequences ? " won- 
dered Barbara. 

" Scarcely : or why should he have come ? " 

" You did not suffer any "-ord to escape you last night, causing him 
to suspect that he was doubted ? " 

" Not any. You would make a bad lawyer, Barbara." 

" Who or what is he ? " 

"An officer in her Majesty's service, m John Herbert's regiment. I 
ascertained no more. Tom said he was of good family. But I cannot 
help suspecting that it is the same man." 

" Can nothing more be done ? " 

" Nothing, in the present stage of the affair," concluded Mr. Carlyle, 
as he passed through the gate to continue his way. "We can only 
wait on again with what patience we may, hoping that time will bring 
about its own elucidation." 

Barbara pressed her forehead down on the cold iron of the gate as 
his footsteps died away. " Ay, to wait on," she murmured, " to wait 
on in dreary pain ; to wait on, perhaps for years, perhaps for ever ! 
And poor Richard — wearing out his days in poverty and exile ! " 

Lady Isabel recovered, and grew strong ; and a fev/ years passed 
smoothly on, no special event occurring to note them. 



t^&st Lynn*, 1 Q 



PART THE SECOND. 



CHAPTER I. 
GOING FROM HOME. 

A FEW years had passed. 

" I should recommend a complete change of scene, Mr. Carlyle. 
Say, some place on the French or Belgian coast. Sea-bathing might 
do wonders." 

" Should you think it well for her to go so far from home ? " 

" I should. Where there is any chronic or confirmed disorder, one 
we can grapple with, I don't care a straw for change of scene or air ; a 
patient is as well at his own home as away from it. A certain treat- 
ment must be gone through, surgical or physical, and it is of little 
moment whether it is pursued on a mountain in Switzerland or in a 
vale in Devonshire. But in these cases of protracted weakness, where 
you can do nothing but try to coax the strength back again, change of 
air and scene are of immense benefit." 

" I will propose it to her," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" I have just done so," replied Dr. Martin, who was the other speaker. 
" She met it with objection. This I expected, for invalids naturally 
feel a disinclination to move from home. But it is necessary that she 
should go." 

The object of their conversation was Lady Isabel. There were three 
children now at East Lynne : Isabel, William, and Archibald ; the latter 
twelve months old. Lady Isabel had, a month or two ago, been attacked 
with illness : she recovered from it ; that is, she recovered from the dis- 
order ; but it had left her in an alarming state of prostration. Mr. 
Wainwright tried in vain to grapple with the weakness ; she seemed to 
grow worse, rather than better ; and Dr. Martin was summoned from 
Lynneborough. The best thing he could recommend — as you have 
heard — was change of scene and air. 

Lady Isabel was unwilling to take the advice ; more especially to go 
so far as the " French coast," and, but for a circumstance that seemed to 
have happened purposely to induce her to decide, would probably never 
have gone. Mrs. DuCiC — tnc reader may not have forgotten her name 
— had, in conjunction with her husband, the Honourable Augustus, 
somewhat run herself out at elbows, and found it desirable to enter for 
a time on the less expensive life of the Continent. For eighteen months 
she had been staying in Paris, the education of her younger daughters 
being the plea put forth for the sojourn : and a very convenient plea it 
is, and serves hundreds. Isauel had had two or three letters from her 



GOING FROM HOME. 147 

during her absence, and she now received another, saying that they 
were going to spend a month or two at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Dr. Martin 
and Mr. Wainwright declared that this must remove all Lady Isabel's 
unwillingness to go from home, for Mrs. Ducic's society would do away 
with the loneliness she had anticipated : a loneliness which had been 
the ostensible reason of her objection. 

" Boulogne-sur-Mer, of all places in the world ! " remonstrated Lady 
Isabel. " It is said to be crowded and vulgar." 

Mr. Carlyle also demurred at Boulogne-sur-Mer. It did not stand 
well in his estimation. It was not a place he cared to send his wife to : 
more esoecially as he could not remain there with her. Trouville, a 
pleasant, retired watering-place, near Harfleur, and little known in 
those days, had been the one chosen. Lady Isabel probably would 
have found it dull and depressing. 

Dr. Martin strongly urged its being changed for Boulogne. "What 
did it matter if Boulogne were crowded and vulgar ? " he asked : " there 
would be the more amusement for Lady Isabel. He had had his doubts 
of Trouville before, as regarded its dullness : by all means let her go to 
Boulogne and join Mrs. Ducie." 

Mr. Carlyle yielded the point, and ended by approving it ; and Lady 
Isabel, finding she had no chance against them all, consented to go, 
and plans were hastily decided upon. 

She certainly looked very ill : her features were white and attenuated, 
her sweet, sad eyes had grown larger and darker ; her hands were hot 
and sickly. Though warm weather, she had generally a shawl folded 
round her, and would sit for hours without rousing herself, as those 
suffering from great weakness like to do ; would sit gazing out on the 
calm landscape, or watching her children at play. She went out once 
a day in the close carriage, and that was all : no other exertion could 
she be aroused to make. 

In this illness the old trouble had returned — the sore feeling touching 
her husband and Barbara Hare. It had lain pretty dormant in the last 
few years, nothing having occurred to excite it ; but Lady Isabel was in 
that state of weakness, where grievances, let them be old or new, grow 
upon the mind. Her thoughts would wander to the unsatisfactory ques- ' 
tion of whether Mr. Carlyle had ever truly loved her ; or whether, lured 
by her rank and her beauty,' he had married her, loving Barbara. Mr. 
Carlyle's demonstrative affection, shown so greatly for her in the first 
twelve months or so of their married life, had subsided into calmness. 
Is not a similar result arrived at by every husband that the Church ever 
made one with woman ? It was not that his love had faded, but that 
tiiae and custom had wrought their natural effects. Look at children 
with their toys ; a boy with a new drum, a girl with a new doll. Are 
not the playthings kissed, and hugged, and clasped in arms, and never 
put down? Did ever playthings seem like them? Are not all other 
things neglected, while the new toy is all in all ? But, wait a little time, 
and the drum is consigned to some dark closet ; the doll to its cradle ; 
and neither of them is visited or looked at. Tell the children to go and 
find their lately cherished playthings, to make them their evening's 
amusenicnt ; and they will go imwillingly, for they are tired of them. It 
is of no use scoldin<r the children for bein>j fickle : it is in their nature 



148 EAST LYNNE. 

to be fickle, for they are human. Are grown children otherwise ? Do 
we not all, men and women, become indifferent to our toys when we 
hold them securely in possession ? Young lady, when he, who is soon 
to be your lord and master, protests to you that he shall always be as 
ardent a lover as he is now, believe him if you like, but don't reproach 
him when disappointment comes. He does ribt wilfully deceive you ; 
he only forgets that it is in the constitution of man to change, the very 
essence of his nature. The time will arrive when his manner must settle 
down into a calmness, which to you, if you are of an exacting tempera- 
ment, may look like indifference or coldness ; but you will do well to 
put up with it, for it will never now be otherwise. Never : the heyday 
of early love, of youth, and of novelty is past. 

Lady Isabel did not understand the even manner, the quiet calmness 
into which her husband's once-passionate love had subsided, and in her 
fanciful jealousy she attributed it to the influence Barbara held upon 
his memory. She looked for the little tender episodes of daily life : 
she would fain have had him hang over her chair as she sang, and 
draw her face to his, and feel his kisses on her lips, as when she first 
came, a wife, to East Lynne. It has been seen that Lady Isabel did 
not love Mr. Carlyle ; but his tenderness, his anxious care for her in 
their early married days, caused her to lift up her heart to him with 
gratitude, and to try earnestly to love him. But — -to try to love ! 
Vain effort : Love never yet came for trying: it is a capricious pas- 
sion, and generally comes without the knowledge and against the will. 
It is possible that she thought she had succeeded, for her whole esteem. 
Her respect, and her admiration were his. When she compared him 
with other men, and saw how far he surpassed them, how noble and 
how good he was, how little the rest looked beside him, her heart 
rose up with pride at the consciousness of being his wife : a princess 
might have deemed it an honour to be the chosen of such a man as 
Archibald Carlyle. Spare one single corner of his heart to Barbara 
Hare ! No indeed ; Isabel could not afford that. 

On the day that the journey was finally decided upon, Lady Isabel 
was in the drawing-room with her three children ; even the little fellow 
was sitting on the carpet. Isabel was a delicate, pretty child in her 
fifth year, William was the very image of his mother, Archibald was 
like Mr. Carlyle. 

" Come hither, my darlings," she cried. 

Isabel and William ran to her, and she placed an arm round each. 
Master Archie was kicking his heels on the carpet at a distance. They 
looked up at their mother. 

" Would my little dears like to go a great way with mamma ? Over 
the sea in a boat ? " 

Isabel — who had inherited the refined, sensitive feelings of her 
mother — replied only by a smile and vivid blush. WiUiam clapped 
his hands. " Oh yes, in a boat ! Arty too, mamma ? " 

"Archie and all," answered Lady Isabel. "And Joyce, and Wilson, 
and " 

Miss Carlyle, who was seated near one of the windows, sewing, 
turned sharply round to interrupt the gladness. Miss Carlyle, though 
not openly dissenting, did not inwardly approve of the proposed emi- 



GOING FROM HOME. 149 

gration. What did people want with change of air? thought she. 
She had never wanted any. A pack of new-fangled notions that 
doctors had got into, recommending change of air for everything ! 
They would order it, next, for a cut finger. If Lady Isabel would 
make an effort, she'd get strong fast enough at home. 

"The children are not going to the seaside," said she. "They are 
not ordered there." 

" But they must go with me," replied Lady Isabel. " Of course they 
are not expressly ordered to it. Why should they not go ? " 

"Why should they not.-*" retorted Miss Corny. "Why, on account 
of the expense, to be sure. I can tell you what it is, Lady Isabel, 
what with one expense and another, your nusband will soon be on the 
road to ruin. Your journey with Joyce and Peter will cost enough, 
ma'am, without taking a van-load of nurses and children." 

Lady Isabels heart sank within her, 

" Besides, your object in going is to recover health, and how can you 
do that, if you are to be worried with the children?" pursued Miss 
Corny. " People who go abroad for pleasure, or invalids in search of 
health, won't find much of either if they carry their cares with them." 

Lady Isabel rose, and, with difficulty, lifted Archibald from the carpet ; 
sat down with him on her knee, and pressed his little face to hers. 

" Would my baby like mamma to go away and leave him ? " she 
asked, the tears falling fast on her fair curls. " Oh ! I could not leave 
them behind me ! " she added, looking imploringly at Miss Carlyle. 
" I should grow no better if you send me there alone ; I should ever be 
yearning for my children." 

"Alone, Lady Isabel ! Is your husband nothing?" 

" But he will only take me ; he will not remain." 

" Well, you can't expect his business to go to rack and ruin," snapped 
Miss Corny. " How can he stay away from it ? With all these heavy 
expenses upon him, there's more need than ever for his sticking to it 
closely. And, before the children are gallivanted over the water, it 
might be as well to sit down and calculate the cost. Of course, Lady 
Isabel, I only offer my opinion ; you arc Archibald's wife, and sole 
mistress,. and will do as you please." 

Do as she pleased ! Poor Lady Isabel laid her head meekly down 
upon her children, effectually silenced, and her heart breaking with 
pain. Joyce, who was then in the room, heard a little, and con- 
jectured much of what had passed. 

In the evening Mr. Carlyle carried little Isabel up to the nursery on 
his shoulder. Joyce happened to be there, and thought it a good 
opportunity to speak. 

" My lady wishes to take the children with her to France, sir." 

"Does she?" replied Mr. Carlyle. 

" And I fear she will make herself very unhappy if they do not go, 
sir." 

" Why should they not go ? " asked Mr. Carlyle. 

He went back to the drawing-room, where his wife was alone. 
" Isabel, do you wish to take the children with you ? " 

" Oh, I did so wish it ! " she replied, the hectic of hope lighting her 
pale cheeks. "If they might only go, Archibald ? " 



ISO EAST LYNNE. 

"Of course they may go. It will be a change for them, as well as 
for you. Why should you hesitate ? " 

" The expense," she timidly whispered, the hectic growing deeper. 

He looked into her eyes with his pleasant smile. " Expense is 
no concern of yours, Isabel : it is mine. Never let the word expense 
trouble you, until I tell you that it must do so." 

"It will not increase the cost so very much," she returned, her eyes 
smiling with happiness. "And I shall get well all the sooner for 
having them with me." 

" And, to further that, you should take them, if it were to the end 
of the world. Why should you study aught but your own wishes and 
comfort ? " 

' She took his hand in her love and gratitude — for every tone of his 
voice spoke of care and tenderness for her ; all jealous fancies were 
forgotten, all recollection, in that moment, that his manner was calmer 
than of old. " Archibald ! I do believe you care for me as much as 
you ever .did ? " 

He did not understand the words, but he held her to him as in days 
gone by, and kissed her tenderly. " More precious, far more precious 
to me than of yore, Isabel ! " 

Miss Carlyle flew out when she heard the decision, and frightened 
her brother to repentance, assuring him that his sending the children 
was the certain way to preclude all chance of his wife's recovery. Mr. 
Carlyle was sorely puzzled between Isabel's wishes and Isabel's welfare : 
he would promote both if he could, but if they clashed— ? He feared 
his own judgment, he feared his wife's ; and he appealed to the medical 
men. But Miss Corny had forestalled him there : she had contrived so 
to impress those gentlemen with the incessant worry the children would 
prove to Lady Isabel, that they pronounced their veto, and forbade the 
children's going. So, after all, Lady Isabel had to resign herself to the 
disappointment. 

" Joyce," said she to her waiting-maid, " I shall leave you at home ; 
I must take Wilson instead." 

" Oh, my lady ! what have I done ? " 

" You have done all that you ought, Joyce, but you must stay with 
the children. If I may not take them, the next best thing will be to 
leave them with you. I shall give them into your charge, not into 
Miss Carlyle's," she said, sinking her voice. "If Wilson remained, 
I could not do that." 

" My lady, I must do whatever you think best. I wish I could at- 
tend you and stay with them, but of course I cannot do both." 

" I am sent away to recover health and strength, but it may be I 
shall die, Joyce. If I never return, will you promise to remain with 
my children .'' " 

Joyce felt a creeping sensation in her veins : sobs rose in her throat, 
but she swallowed them down, and constrained her. voice to calmness. 
" My lady, I hope you will come back to us as well as you used to be. 
I trust you will hope so too, my lady, and not give way to low spirits." 

" I sincerely hope and trust I shall," answered Lady Isabel, fervently. 
" Still, there is no knowing, for I ani very ill. Joyce, give me your 
promise in case of the worst, that you will remain with the children." 



FRANCIS LEVISON. 151 

" I will, my lady — as long as I am permitted." 

"And bo kind to them, and love them, and shield them from from 
• — any unkindness that may be put upon them," she added, her liead 
full of Miss Carlyle. "And talk to them sometimes of their poor 
mother who is gone." 

" I will, I will : oh, my lady, I will ! " And Joyce sat down in the 
rocking-chair as Lady Isabel quitted her, and burst into tears. 



CHAPTER II. 

FRANCIS LEVISON. 



Mk. Carlyle and Lady Isabel, with Wilson and Peter in attendance, 
arrived at Boulogne, and proceeded to the Hotel des Bains. It may 
be as well to mention that Peter had been transferred from Miss 
Carlyle's service to theirs, when the establishment was first formed at 
East Lynne. Upon entering the hotel, they inquired for Mrs. Ducie, 
and then a disappointment awaited them. A letter was handed to them, 
which had arrived that morning from Mrs. Ducie, expressing her regret 
that certain family arrangements prevented her visiting Boulogne ; she 
was proceeding to some of the baths in Germany instead. 

"I might almost have known it," remarked Isabel. "She was 
always the most changeable of women." 

Mr. Carlyle proposed that they should, after all, go on to Trouville, 
but Isabel said now that she had come to Boulogne, she would stay 
there. He went out in search of lodgings, Isabel objecting to remain 
in the bustling hotel. He succeeded in finding some excellent ones 
ui the Rue dc I'Ecu, near the port, and they moved into them. He 
thought the journey had done her good, for she looked better, and 
said she already felt stronger. Mr. Carlyle remained with her three 
days; he had promised only one, but he was pleased with Isabel's 
returning glimpses of health, and amused with the scenes of the busy 
town. 

" I shall make no acquaintances here," Isabel observed to him, as 
they sat together at the end of the first division of the pier, which she 
had reached without fliuch fatigue, and watched the gay idlers tlockiug 
past them. 

" It would not be wise to do so indiscriminately," he replied, "but 
you may chance to find some you know. All sorts of people come 
over here : some respectable, and from respectable motives ; others 
the contrary. Some of these men, going by now, are here because 
they have kites flying in England." 

" Kites ! " echoed Lady Isabel. 

" Kites, and bills, and ghosts of renewed acceptances," returned Mr. 
Carlyle. "And well for them if they are over here for nothing else. 
The worse a man's conduct has been at home, the more assurance he 
puts on abroad, and is the first to rush and proclaim his arrival at the 
consulate. To hear these men boast, we might think they were 
millionaires in England, and had led the lives of saints." 



152 EAST LYNNE. 

"You have never stayed in these continental towns, Archibald : how 
do you know this ? " 

" I have had plenty to do with those who have stayed in them. 
There goes Buxton ! " he suddenly exclaimed ; " he sees me, too. 
Look at him, Isabel. He does not know whether to come on, or to 
turn and make a run for it." 

" Who ? Which ?" cried Isabel, confused by the many passers by. 

" That stout, well-dressed man, with the light hair, and a buuch of 
seals hanging to his watch-chain. He thinks better of it, and comes 
on. All safe, my good sir, on Boulogne pier, but if they catch you on 
the other side the water — . Here comes his wife, following with some 
ladies. Look at her satins, and her chains, and her bracelets — all 
swindled out of credulous tradespeople. There's not a doubt they are 
playing at being grand people in the English society here. It must be 
as good as a comedy to be behind the scenes in this Anglo-French 
town, and watch the airs and graces of some of its sojourners. Are 
you tired, Isabel?" 

" A little. I should like to return." 

Mr. Carlyle rose, and giving his arm to his wife, they walked slowly 
down the pier. Many an eye was turned to look at them ; at his tall, 
noble form ; at her young beauty ; at the unmistakable air of distinc- 
tion which enshrined both. They were not like the ordinary visitors 
at Boulogne-sur-Mer. 

The tide served at eight o'clock the following morning, and Mr. 
Carlyle left by the Folkestone boat. Wilson made his breakfast, and 
after swallowing it in haste, he returned to his wife's room to say 
farewell. 

" Good-bye, my love," he said, stooping to kiss her. " Take care of 
yourself." 

" Give my dear love to the darlings, Archibald. And — and " 

" And what ? " he asked. " I have not a moment to lose." 

" Do not get making love to Barbara Hare while I am away." 

She spoke in a tone half jest, half serious — could he but have seen 
how her heart was beating ! Mr. Carlyle took it wholly as a jest, and 
went away laughing. Had he believed she was serious, he could have 
been little more surprised had she charged him not to go about the 
country on a dromedary. 

Isabel rose later, and lingered listlessly over her brcakfist. She was 
wondering how she could pass away the next few weeks : what she 
should do with her time. She had taken two sea-baths since her 
arrival, but they had appeared not to agree with her, leaving her low and 
shivering afterwards, so that it was not thought advisable to attempt 
any more. It was a lovely morning, and she determined to venture 
on to the pier, where they had been the previous evening. She had not 
Mr. Curly le's arm, but it w%as not far, and she could take a long rest at 
the end of it. 

She went, attended by Peter, took her seat, and told him to come 
for hci in an hour. She watched the strollers on the pier ; not in 
crowds now, but stragglers, coming on at intervals. There came a 
gouty man, in a list shoe ; there came three young ladies and their 
governess ; there came two fast puppies in shooting-jackets and eye- 



FRANCIS LEVISON. 153 

glasses, which they turned with a broad stare on Lady Isabel ; but 
there was something about her which caused them to drop their 
glasses and their ill manners together. After an interval, there 
appeared another ; a tall, handsome, gentlemanly man. Her eyes fell 
upon him ; and— what was it that caused every nerve in her frame to 
vibrate, every pulse to quicken? Whose form was it that was thus 
advancing, and changing the monotony of her mind into tumult ? 
It was that of one who, she was soon to fmd, had never been entirely 
forgotten. 

Captain Lcvison came slowly on, approaching the part of the pier 
where she sat. He glanced at her, not with the hardihood displayed 
by the two young men, but with quite sufficiently evident admiration. 

" What a lovely girl I " thought he to himself. " Who can she be, 
sitting there alone .'' " All at once a recollection flashed into his mind : 
he raised his hat and extended his hand, his fascinating smile in full play. 

" I certainly cannot be mistaken. Have I not the honour of once 
more meeting Lady Isabel Vane?" 

She allowed him to take her hand, answering a few words at 
random, for her wits seemed to have gone wool-gathering. 

" I beg your pardon — I should have said Lady Isabel Carlyle. Time 
has elapsed since we parted, and in the pleasure of seeing you again 
so unexpectedly, I thought of you as you were then." 

She sat down again, the brilliant flush of emotion dying away on 
her cheeks. It was the loveliest face Francis Levison had seen since 
he had last seen hers, and he thought so as he gazed at it. 

" What can have brought you to this place ? " he inquired, taking a 
scat by her. 

" I have been ill, she explained, " and am ordered to the seaside. 
We should not have come here but for Mrs. Ducie ; we expected to 
meet her. Mr. Carlyle only left me this morning." 

" Mrs. Ducie is off to Ems. I see them occasionally. They have 
been fixtures in Paris for some time. You do indeed look ill ! " he 
abruptly added, in a tone of sympathy ; "alarmingly ill. Is there any- 
thing I can do for you ? " 

She was aware that she looked unusually ill at that moment, for 
the agitation and surprise of meeting him were fiiding away, leaving 
her face of an ashy whiteness. She was exceedingly vexed and angry 
with herself, that meeting him should have had power to call forth 
emotion. Until that moment she was unconscious that she retained 
any sort of feeling for Captain Levison. 

" Perhaps I have ventured out too early," she said, in a tone that 
would seem to apologize for her looks ; " I think I will return. I shall 
meet my servant, no doubt. Good morning, Captain Levison." 

" But indeed you do not appear fit to walk alone," he remonstrated. 
" You must allow me to see you safely home." 

Drawing her hand within his arm quite as a matter of course, as he 
had done many a time in the days gone by. he proceeded to assist her 
down the pier. Lady Isabel, conscious of her own feelings, felt that it 
was not quite the thing to walk thus familiarly with him, but he was a 
sort of relative of the family^ — a connection at any rate, and she could 
find no ready excuse for decHning. 



154 EAST LYNNE. 

" Have you seen Lady Mount Severn lately ?" he inquired. 

" I saw her when I was in London this spring with Mr. Carlyle. The 
first time we have met since my marriage : v/e do not correspond. Lord 
Mount Severn has paid us some visits at East Lynne. They are in 
town yet, I believe." 

" For all I know. I have not seen them, or England either, for ten 
months. I have been staying in Paris, and got here yesterday." 

" A long leave of absence," she observed. 

" Oh, I have left the army. I sold out. The truth is, Lady Isabel 
— for I don't mind teUing you — things are rather down with me at 
present. My old uncle has behaved shamefully : he has married 
again." 

" I heard that Sir Peter had married." 

" He is seventy-three — the old simpleton ! Of course this materially 
alters my prospects, for it is just possible he may have a son of his 
own now ; and my creditors all came down upon me. They allowed 
me to run into debt with complacency when I was heir to the title 
and estates, but as soon as Sir Peter's marriage appeared in the papers, 
myself and my consequence dropped a hundred per cent. ; credit was 
stopped, and I was dunned for payment. So I sold out and came 
abroad." 

" Leaving your creditors behind you ? " 

" What else could I do ? My uncle would not pay them, or increase 
my allowance." 

" What are your prospects, then ?" resumed Lady Isabel. 

" Prospects ? Do you see that httle ragged boy, throwing stones into 
the harbour ? — it is well if the police don't drop upon him. Ask him 
what his prospects are, and he would stare in your face, and say, * None.' 
Mine are on a par with his." 

" You may succeed Sir Peter yet." 

" I may : but I may not. When these old idiots marry a young 
wife " 

" Have you quarrelled with Sir Peter?" interrupted Lady Isabel. 

" I should quarrel with hun, as he deserves, if it would do any good : 
but I might get my allowance stopped. Self-interest, you see. Lady 
Isabel, is the order of the day with most of us." 

" Do you purpose staying long in Boulogne ? " 

" I don't know. As I may find amusement. Paris is a fast capital, 
with its heated rooms and its late hours, and I came down for the 
refreshment of a few sea-dips. Am I walking too fast for you ? " 

" You increased your pace alarmingly when you spoke of Sir Peter's 
marriage. And I am not sorry for it," she added, good-naturedly, " for 
it has proved to me how strong I am growing. A week ago I could 
not have walked so fast." 

He interrupted with eager apologies, and soon they reached her home. 
Captain Lcvison entered with her — uninvited. He probably considered 
that between connections great ceremony might be dispensed with, and 
he sat a quarter of an hour, chatting to amuse her. When he rose, he 
inquired what she meant to do with herself in the afternoon. 

"To lie down," replied Lady Isabel. "I am not strong enough to 
sit up all day." 



FRANCIS LEVISON. 155 

" Should you be going out again afterwards, you must allow nic to 
take care of you," he observed. " I am glad that I happen to be here, 
for I am sure you ought not to wander out only followed by a servant. 
When Mr. Carlylc comes, he will thank me for my pains." 

What was she to urge in objection ? Simply nothing. He spoke, 
let us not doubt, from a genuine wish to serve her, in a plain, easy 
tone, as any acquaintance might speak. Lady Isabel schooled herself 
severely ; if those old feelings were not quite dead within her, why, she 
must smother them down again as effectually as if they were : the very 
fact of recognizing them to her own heart, brought its glow of shame to 
her brow. She would meet Captain Levison and suffer his companion- 
ship as she would that of the most indifferent stranger. 

It was just the wrong way for her to go to work. 

As the days passed on, Lady Isabel improved wonderfully. She 
was soon able to go to the sands in a morning and sit there to enjoy 
the sea-air, watching the waves come up or recede with the tide. She 
made no acquaintances whatever in the place, and when she had a com- 
panion it was Captain Levison. He would frequently join her there, 
sometimes take her, almost always give her his arm home. She disliked 
having to take his arm : her conscience whispered it might be better if 
she did not do so. One day she said, in a joking sort of manner — she 
would not say it in any other — that now she was strong she had no need 
of his arm and his escort. He demanded, in evident astonishment, 
what had arisen that he might not still afford it, as her husband was 
not with her to give her his. She had no answer to give to this, no 
excuse to urge, and, in default, took his arm as usual. In the evening, 
he was always ready to take her to the pier, but they sat apart, mixing 
not with the bustling crowd, he lending to his manner, as he conversed 
with her, all that it could call up of fascination — and fiiscination, such 
as Francis Levison's, might be dangerous to any ear in the sweet evening 
twilight. The walk over, he left her at her own door. In the evening 
she never asked him in, and he did not intrude without permission, as 
he sometimes would in a morning. 

Now, where was the help for this? You may say that she should 
have remained indoors, and not have subjected herself to his com- 
panionship. But remaining indoors would not have brought her health, 
and it wss health that she was staying in Boulogne to acquire, and the 
sooner it came the better pleased she would be, for she w -ntcd to be at 
home with her husband and children. 

In a fortnight from the period of his departure, Mr. Carlyle was 
expected in Boulogne. But what a marvellous change had this fort- 
night wrought in Lady Isabel ! She did not dare to analyze her feelings, 
but she was conscious that ail the fresh emotions of her youth had come 
again. The blue sky seemed of the clearest sapphire, the fields and the 
waving trees were emerald, the perfume of the flowers was more fragrant 
than any perfume had yet seemed. She knew that all these things were 
only as they had ever been ; and she knew that the change, the sensa- 
tion of ecstasy, was in her own heart. No wonder that she shrank from 
self-examination. 

The change from listless langour to her present feelings brought 
the hue and contour of health to her face far sooner than anything 



1S6 EAST LYNNE. 

else could have done. She went down with Captain Levison to meet 
Mr. Carlyle the evening he came in, and when Mr. Carlyle saw her 
behind the cords, as he was going to the custom-house, he scarcely 
knew her. Her features had lost their sharpness, her cheeks wore a 
rosy flush, and the light of pleasure at meeting him again shone in her 
eyes. 

" What can you have been doing to yourself, my darling ? " he 
uttered in delight, as he emerged from the custom-house and took her 
hands in his. " You look almost well." 

" Yes, I am much better, Archibald, but I am warm now and flushed. 
We have waited here some time ; and the setting sun was full upon us. 
How long the boat was coming in." 

" The wind was dead against us," replied Mr. Carlyle, wondering 
who the exquisite was, at his wife's side. He thought he remembered 
his face. 

" Captain Levison," said Lady Isabel. " I wrote you word in one of 
my letters that he was here. Have you forgotten it ? " Yes, it had 
slipped from his memory. 

" And I am pleased that it happened to be so," said that gentleman, 
interposing, "for it has enabled me to attend Lady Isabel in some of 
her walks. She is stronger now, but at first she was unfit to venture 
out alone." 

" I feel much indebted to you," said Mr. Carlyle, warmly. 

Lady Isabel had taken her husband's arm, and Francis Levison 
walked by the side of Mr. Carlyle. " To tell you the truth," he said, 
dropping his voice so that it reached only Mr. Carlyle's ear, " when I 
met Lady Isabel, I was shocked to see her. I thought her days were 
numbered ; that a very short period must close them. I therefore 
considered it a bounden duty to render her any slight service that might 
be in my power." 

" I am sure she has been obliged for your attention," responded Mr. 
Carlyle. " And as to her visible improvement, it seems little short of 
a miracle. I expected, from Lady Isabel's letters to me, to find her 
better, but she is more than better ; she looks well. Do you hear, 
Isabel ? I say a miracle must have been wrought, to bring back your 
bloom, for a fortnight's space of time could scarcely have done it. 
This must be a famous air for invalids." 

The bloom that Mr. Carlyle spoke of deepened to a glowing crimson 
as she listened. She knew — and she could not stifle the knowledge, 
however she might wish to do so — that it was not the place or the sea- 
air which had renovated her heart and her countenance. But she 
clasped her husband's arm the closer, and inwardly prayed for strength 
and power to thrust away from her this dangerous foe, that was creeping 
on in guise so insidious. 

" You have not said a word to me about the children," exclaimed 
Lady Isabel, as she and her husband entered their rooms, Francis 
Levison not having been invited to enter. " Did they al' send me 
some kisses ? Did Archie send me any .'' ' 

Mr. Carlyle laughed : he was not a mother, he was only a father. 
Archie, with his year of age, send kisses ! 

" Had you been away, as I am, he should have sent some to yon," 



FRANCIS LEVISON. 157 

murmured Lady Isabel. " I would have taken a thousand from him, 
and told him they were for papa." 

" I will take a thousand back to him," answered Mr. Carlyle, folding 
his wife to his heart. " My dearest, the sight of you has made me 
glad." 

The following day was Sunday, and Francis Levison was asked to 
dine with them : the first meal he had been invited to in the house. 
After dinner, when Lady Isabel left them, he grew confidential with 
Mr. Carlyle; laying open all his intricate affairs and his cargo of 
troubles. 

" This compulsory exile abroad is becoming intolerable," he con- 
cluded ; " and a Paris life plays the very deuce with one. Do you see 
any chance of my getting back to England ? " 

" Not the least," was the candid answer ; "unless you can manage to 
satisfy, or partially satisfy, these claims you have been telling me of. 
Will not Sir Peter assist you ? " 

" I believe he would were the case fairly represented to him ; but 
how am 1 to get over to do it ? I have written several letters to him 
lately, and for some time I had no reply. Then came an epistle from 
Lady Levison ; not short and sweet, but short and sour. It was to 
the effect that Sir Peter was ill, and could not at present be troubled 
with business matters." 

" He cannot be very ill," remarked Mr. Carlyle. " He passed through 
West Lynne in his open carriage a week ago." 

" He ought to help me," grumbled Captain Levison. " I am his heir, 
so long as Lady Levison does not give him one. I do not hear that 
she has expectations." 

" You should contrive to see him." 

" I know I should : but it is not possible, under present circum- 
stances. With these thunder-clouds hanging over me, I dare not set 
foot in England, and run the risk of'being dropped upon. I can stand 
a few things, but I shudder at the bare idea of a prison. Something 
peculiar in my idiosyncrasy I take it, for those who have tried it say 
that it's nothing when you're used to it." 

" Some one might see him for you." 

" Some one ! — who ? I have quarrelled with my lawyers, Sharp and 
Steel, of Lincoln's Inn." 

" Keen practitioners," put in Mr. Carlyle. 

" Too keen for me. I'd send them over the herring-pond if I could. 
They have used me shamefully since my uncle's marriage. If ever I 
do come into the Levison estates, they'll be ready to eat their ears off. 
They would like a finger in the pie with such a property as that." 

" Shall I see Sir Peter Levison for you ? " 

" Will you ? " returned Captain Levison, his dark eyes lighting up. 

" If you like ; as your friend, you understand, not as your solicitor : 
that I should decline. I have a slight knowledge of Sir Peter ; my 
father was well acquainted with him : and if I can render you any 
little service, I shall be happy to do so, in return for your attetion to 
my wife. I cannot promise to see him for these two or three weeks," 
resumed Mr. Carlyle, " for we are terribly busy. Otherwise I should 
be staying here with my wife." 



I5« EAST LYNNE. 

Francis Levison expressed his gratitude, and the prospect, however 
remote, of being enabled to return to England, increased his spirits to 
exultation. Whilst they continued to converse, Lady Isabel sat at the 
window in the adjoining room, listlessly looking out on the French, 
who were crowding to and from the port in their Sunday attire : look- 
ing at them with her eyes, not with her senses ; her senses were holding 
commune with herself, and it was not altogether satisfactory. She was 
aware that a sensation all too warm, a feeling of attraction towards 
Francis Levison, was working within her ; not a voluntary one ; she 
could no more repress it than she could repress her own sense of 
being ; and, mixed with it was the stern voice of conscience, over- 
whelming her with the most lively terror. She would have given 
all she possessed to be able to overcome it ; she would have given 
half the years of her future life to separate herself at once and for ever 
from the man. 

But, do not mistake the word terror ; or suppose that Lady Isabel 
Carlyle applied it here in the vulgar acceptation of the term. She did 
not fear for herself ; none could be more securely conscious of their 
own rectitude of principle and conduct ; and she would have believed 
it as impossible for her ever to forsake her duty as a wife, a gentle- 
woman, and a Christian, as for the sun to turn from the west to the 
east. That was not the fear which possessed her ; it had never 
presented itself to her mind. What she did fear was, that further com- 
panionship, especially lonely companionship, with Francis Levison 
might increase the sentiments she entertained for him to a height, that 
her life, for perhaps years to come, would be one of unhappiness and 
concealment. More than all, she shrank from the consciousness of the 
bitter wrong that these sentiments cast upon her husband. 

" Archibald, 1 have a favour to ask you," she timidly began, as they 
sat together after Captain Levison's departure. " You must promise 
to grant it me." 

" What is it ? " 

" But that is not promising." 

" I will grant it, Isabel ; if it be in my power." 

" I want you to remain with me for the rest of the time that I must 
stay here." 

Mr. Carlyle looked at her in surprise. "My dear, how could you 
think of wishing anything so unlikely.'' It is circuit time." 

" Oh, Archibald, you must remain." 

" I wish I could : but it is impossible ; you must know it to be so, 
Isabel. A few weeks later in the year, and I could have stayed the 
whole time with you. As it is I did not know how to get away for 
these two or three days." 

" And you go back to morrow ? " 

" Necessity has no law, my darling." 

" Then take me with you." 

Mr. Carlyle smiled. " No, Isabel : not while I find the change is 
doing you so much good. I took these rooms for six weeks ; you 
must rcmnin ccrtninly until the end of the term, if not longer." 

The colour came llowing painfully into her check. " i cannot stay 
without you, Archibald." 



QUITTING THE DANGER. 159 

" Tell me why," smiled Mr. Carlyle. 

Tell him why ! " I am so dull without you," was the best argument 
she could offer ; but her voice faltered, for she felt that it would not be 
listened to. 

Neither was it. Mr. Carlyle left the following day, and when he 
was departing, commended his wife to the further attention of Captain 
Levison. Not the faintest suspicion that it might be unwise to do so 
ever crossed his mind. How should it? Perfectly correct and honour- 
able himself, it never occurred to him that Captain Levison might be 
less so. And as to his wife — he would fearlessly have left her alone 
with him, or with any one else, on a desert island, so entire was his 
confidence in her. 



CHAPTER III. 

QUITTING THE DANGER. 



Ladv Isabel was seated on one of the benches of the Petit Camp, as 
it is called, under the ramparts of the upper town. A week or ten days 
had passed away since the departure of Mr. Carlyle, and in her health 
there was a further visible improvement. In her strength, the change 
was almost beyond credence. She had walked from her home to the 
cemetery, had lingered there, reading the inscriptions on the English 
graves, and now on her departure sat down to rest ; tired, it must be 
owned, but not much more so than many a lady would be, rejoicing in 
rude health. Captain Levison was her companion, as he usually was 
in her walks ; shake him off she could not. She had attempted a few 
stratagenis ; going out at unusual hours, or choosing unfrequented 
routes ; but he was sure to trace her steps and come upon her. Isabel 
thought he must watch her ; probably he did so. She would not take 
more decided steps, or say to him, you shall not join me ; he miglit 
have asked for an explanation, and Isabel, in her conscious state of 
feeling, avoided that above all things. It will be only for a little time, 
she reflected ; I shall soon be gone, and leave him, I hope, for ever. 
But meanwhile, she felt that this prolonged intercourse with him was 
bearing fruit ; that her cheek blushed at his approach, her heart beat 
with something too like rapture. She tried to suppress it. Why did 
she not try to arrest the breeze as it filled the sails of the passing 
vessels ? It would not have been a more hopeless task. 

It was a still evening, cool for July. No sound was heard save the 
hum of the summer insects, and Lady Isabel sat in silence with her 
companion, her rebellious heart beating with a sense of its own hap- 
piness. But for the voice of conscience, strong within her ; but for 
the sense of right and wrong ; but for existing things ; in short, but 
that she was a wife, she might have been content so to sit by his side 
for ever, never to wish to move, or to break the silence. Did he read 
her feelings? He told her, months afterwards, that he did so : but it 
might have been only a vain boast. 

" Do you remember the evening, Lady Isabel, just such a one as 



i6o EAST LYNNE. 

this, that we all passed at Richmond ? " he suddenly asked. " Your 
father, Mrs. Vane, you, I, and others ? " 

" Yes, I remember it. We had spent a pleasant day : the two Miss 
Challoners were with us. You drove Mrs. Vane home, and I went 
with papa. You drove recklessly, I recollect ; and Mrs. Vane said 
when we reached home that you should never drive her again." 

" Which meant, not until the next time. Of all capricious, vain, 
exacting women, Emma Vane was the worst ; and Emma Mount 
Severn is no improvement upon it : she's a systematic flirt, and nothing 
better. I drove recklessly on purpose to frighten her, and pay her off." 

" What had she done to you ? " 

" Put me into a rage. She had saddled herself upon me when I 
wanted — I wished for — another to be my companion." 

" Blanche Challoner." 

" Blanche Challoner ! " echoed Captain Levison, in a mocking tone : 
"what did I care for Blanche Challoner?" 

Isabel remembered that he had been supposed in those days to care 
a great deal for Blanche Challoner— a most lovely girl of seventeen. 
" Mrs. Vane used to accuse you of caring too much for her," she said 
aloud. 

" She accused me of caring for some one else more than for Blanche 
Challoner," he significantly returned, " and for once her jealous surmises 
were not misplaced. No, Lady Isabel, it was not Blanche Challoner 
I wished to drive home. Could you not have given a better guess than 
that at the time ? " he added, turning to her 

There was no mistaking the tone of his voice or the glance of his 
eye. Lady Isabel felt a crimson flush rising, and turned her face 
away. 

" The past is gone, and cannot be recalled," he continued, " but we 
both played our cards like simpletons. If ever two beings were 
formed to love each other, you and I were. I sometimes thought you 
read my feelings " 

Surprise had kept her silent, but she interrupted him now, haughtily 
enough. 

" I must speak. Lady Isabel : a few words, and then I am silent for 
ever. I would have declared myself had I dared, but my uncertain 
position, my debts, my inability to keep a wife, weighed me down ; 
and instead of appealing to Sir Peter, as I hoped to do, for the means 
to assume a position that would justify me in asking for Lord Mount 
Severn's daughter, I crushed my hopes within me, and suffered you to 
■ escape " 

" I will not hear this, Captain Levison," she cried, rising from her 
seat in anger. 

He touched her arm to place her on it again. " One single moment 
yet, I pray you. I have for years wished that you should know why 
I lost you ; a loss that tells upon me yet. I have bitterly worked out 
my own folly since. I knew not how passionately I loved you, until 
you became the wife of another. Isabel, I love you passionately still." 

" How dare you presume so to address me ?" 

She spoke in a cold dignified tone of hauteur, as it was herbounden 
duty to speak. But nevertheless she was conscious of an under- 



QUITTING THE DANGER. i6i 

current of feeling, whispering that under other auspices the avowal 
would have brought to her heart the most intense bliss. 

" What I have said can do no harm now," resumed Captain Levison ; 
" the time has gone by for it ; for neither you nor I are likely to forget 
that you are a wife. We have each chosen our path in life, and must 
abide by it ; the gulf between us is impassable ; but the fault was mine. 
I ought to have avowed my affection, and not have suffered you to 
throw yourself away upon Mr. Carlyle." 

'' Throw myself away ! " she indignantly uttered, roused to the retort. 
" Mr. Carlyle is my dear husband ; esteemed, respected, beloved. I 
married him of my own free choice, and I have never repented it. I 
have grown more attached to him day by day. Look at his noble 
nature, his noble form : what are you by his side ? You forget your- 
self, Francis Levison." 

He bit his lips. " No, I do not." 

" You are talking to me as you have no right to talk," she exclaimed 
in her agitation. "Who, but you, would so insult me, or take advan- 
tage of my momentarily unprotected condition? Would, you dare to 
do it, were Mr. Carlyle within reach ? I wish you good evening, sir." 

She walked away as quickly as her tired frame would permit. 
Captain Levison strode after her. He took forcible possession of her 
hand, and placed it within his arm. 

" I pray you forgive and forget what has escaped me, Lady Isabel. 
Suffer me to be as before, the kind friend, the anxious brother, endea- 
vouring to be of service to you in the absence of Mr. Carlyle." 

" It is what I have suffered you to be, looking upon you as — I may 
say — a relative," she coldly rejoined, withdrawing her hand from his 
contact. " Not else should I have permitted your incessant companion- 
ship : and this is how you have repaid it ! My husband thanked you 
for your attention to me ; could he have read what was in your false 
heart, he had offered you a different sort of thanks, I fancy." 

" I ask you for pardon, Lady Isabel ; I have acknowledged my fault ; 
and I can do no more. I will not so offend again ; but there are 
moments when our dearest feelings break through the rules of life, and 
betray themselves, in spite of our sober judgment. Suffer me to 
support you down this steep hill," he added, for they wcce then going 
over the sharp stones of the Grand' Rue ; " you arc not strong enough 
to proceed alone, after this evening's long walk." 

'■' You should have thought of that before," she said, some sarcasm in 
her tone. " No. I have declined." 

So he had to put his arm back, which he was holding out, and she 
walked on unsupported, with what strength she had, he continuing to 
walk bv her side. Arrived at her own door, she wished him a cold 
good evening, and he turned away in the direction of his hotel. 

Lady Isabel brushed past Peter, and flew upstairs, startling Wilson, 
who had taken possession of the drawing-room to air her smart cap ai 
its windows in the absence of her lady. 

" My desk, Wilson, immediately," cried she, tearing off her gloves, 
her bonnet, and her shawl. " Tell Peter to be in readiness to take a 
letter to the post ; and he must walk fast, or he will not catch it before 
the English mail is closed." 

Kast Lynna. 11 



i62 EAST LYNNE. 

The symptoms of sinful happiness throbbing at her heart, while 
Francis Levison told her of his love, spoke plainly to Lady Isabel of 
the expediency of withdrawing entirely from his society and his dan- 
gerous sophistries. She would go away from the very place that 
contained him ; put the sea between them. So she dashed off a letter 
to her husband ; an urgent summons that he should come for her 
without delay, for, remain away longer, she would not. It is probable 
that she would have started alone, without waiting for Mr. Carlyle, but 
for the fear of not having sufficient funds for the journey, after the rent 
and other things were paid. 

Mr. Carlyle, when he received the letter and marked its earnest 
tone, wondered much. In reply, he stated he would be with her on 
the following Saturday, and then her returning, or not, Avith him could 
be settled. Fully determined not to meet Captain Levison again, 
Isabel, in the intervening days, only went out in a carriage. He called 
once, and was shown into the drawing-room : but Lady Isabel, who 
happened to be in her own chamber, sent out a message, which was 
delivered by Peter. " My lady's compliments, but she must decline to 
receive visitors." 

Sunday morning — it had been impossible for him to get away before 
— brought Mr. Carlyle. He strongly combated her wish to return 
home until the six weeks should have expired ; he almost said he would 
not take her ; and she grew earnest over it, almost to agitation. 

" Isabel," he said, "let me know your motive, for it appears to me 
that you have one. The sojourn here is evidently doing you a great 
deal of good, and what you urge about ' being dull ' sounds very like 
nonsense. Tell me what it is." 

A sudden impulse flashed over her that she would tell him the 
truth. Not tell him that she loved Francis Levison, or that he had 
spoken to her as he did : she valued her husband too greatly to draw 
him into any unpleasantness of which the end could not be seen ; but 
own to him that she had once felt a passing fancy for Francis Levison, 
and preferred not to be subjected to his companionship now. Oh, 
that she had done so ! her kind, her noble, her judicious husband ! 
Why did she keep silence ? The whole truth, as to her present 
feelings, it was not expedient that she should tell, but she might 
have conhded sufficient to him. He would only have cherished her 
the more deeply, and sheltered her under his fostering care, safe from 
harm. 

Why did she not speak? In the impulse of the moment she was 
about to do so, when Mr. Carlyle, who had been taking a letter froni 
his pocket-book, put it into her hand. Upon such slight threads do 
the events of life turn ! Her thoughts diverted, she remained silent 
while she opened the letter. It was from Miss Carlyle, who had 
handed it to her brother in the moment of his departure, to carry to 
I.ady Isabel and save postage. Mr. Carlyle had nearly dropped it 
into the Folkestone post-office. 

A letter as stiff as Miss Corny herself The cliildren were well, and 
the house was going on well, and she hoped Lady Isabel was better. 
It hllcd three sides of note-paper, but that was all the news it con- 
tained, and it wound up with the following sentence : " I woiUd 



QUITTING THE DANGER. 163 

continue my epistle, but Barbara Hare, who is to spend the day with 
us, has just arrived." 

Barbara Hare spending the day at East Lynne ! That item was 
quite enough for Lady Isabel ; and her heart and her confidence 
closed to her husband. " She must go home to her children," she 
urged ; she could not remain longer away from them ; and she urged 
it at length with tears. 

" Nay, Isabel," said Mr. Carlyle ; "if you are so much in earnest ss 
this, you shall certainly go back with me." 

Then she was as a child let loose from school. She laughed ; she 
danced in her excess of content ; she showered kisses on her husband, 
thanking him in her happy gratitude. Mr. Carlyle set it down to her 
love for him ; he arrived at the conclusion that, in reiterating that she 
could not bear to be away from him, she spoke the fond truth. 

" Isabel," he said, smiling tenderly upon her, " do you remember, in 
the first days of our marriage, you told me you did not love me, but 
that the love would come .-' I think this is it." 

Her face flushed nearly to tears at the word ; a bright, glowing, all 
too conscious flush. Mr. Carlyle mistook its source, and caught her 
to his heart. 

One day more, and then they — she and that man — should be sepa- 
rated by the broad sea. The thought caused her to lift up her heart 
in thankfulness. She knew thai to leave him would be as though she 
left the sun behind her ; that the other side might for a time be some- 
what dreary ; nevertheless, she fervently thanked Heaven. Oh, 
reader ! never doubt the principles of poor Lady Isabel, her rectitude 
of mind, her wish and endeavour to do right, her abhorrence of wrong ; 
her spirit was earnest and true, her intentions were pure. 

Captain Levison paid a visit to Mr. Carlyle, and inquired if he had 
had time to see Sir Peter. Not yet ; Mr. Carlyle had been too busy 
to think of it ; but he should soon have more leisure on his hands, and 
would not fail him. Such was the reply ; the reply of an honourable 
man to a man of dishonour : but, of the dishonour, Mr. Carlyle sus- 
pected nothing. 

It was high water in the afternoon, and the Folkestone boat was an- 
nounced to start at one o'clock. The Carlyles and their servants went 
on board in good time, and Captain Levison greeted them and said fare- 
well as they stepped on to the steamer. Lady Isabel took her 3eat on 
deck, her husband standing by her ; the ropes were unloosened, and 
the boat moved slowly down the harbour. On the shore stood Francis 
Levison, watching its progress, watching /icr. He was a bold, unscrupu- 
lous man ; and there was little doubt that the more refined feelings, both 
of the past and present, he had thought fit to avow for Lady Isabel, 
were all assumed to serve a purpose. However, he had received his 
checkmate. 

As he receded from Isabel's view, a sensation of relief thrilled through 
her whole frame, causing it to shudder, and involuntarily she clasped 
the hand of Mr. Carlyle. 

" You are not cold, Isabel ?" he said, bending over her. 

" Oh no : I am very comfortable ; very happy.'' 

"But you were surely shivering.'" 



i64 EAST LYNNE. 

" At the thought of what I should have done with myself, had you 
come away, and left me there still, all alone. Archibald," she continued 
in an impassioned whisper, " never let me go away from you again ; 
keep me near you always." 

He smiled as he looked down into her pleading eyes, and a whole 
world of tender response and love might be detected in his earnest tone. 
"Always and always, Isabel. It is greater pain to me than to you, to 
have you away from me." 

How could she ever doubt him ? 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FRACTURED ANKLE. 



Lady Isabel had returned home to health, to the delight of meeting 
her children, to the glad sensation of security. But, as the days went 
on, a miserable feeling of apathy stole over her : a feeling as if all whom 
she had loved in the world had died, leaving her living and alone. It 
was a painful depression, this vacuum in her heart which was making 
itself felt i.i its keen intensity. She strove to drive that bad man away 
from her thoughts ; but even while she so strove, he was again in them. 
Too frequently she caught herself thinking that if she could only see 
him once again, for ever so short a period, one hour, one day, she could 
compose her spirit afterwards to rest. She did not encourage these 
reflections : from what you know of her, you may be sure of that : but 
they thrust themselves continually forward. The form of Francis 
Levison was ever present with her ; not a minute of the day but it gave 
the colouring to her thoughts, and at night it made the subject of her 
dreams. Oh, those dreams ! they were painful to awake from ; painful 
from the contrast they presented to reality ; and equally painful to her 
conscience, in its striving after what was right. She would have given 
much not to have these dreams ; never to see or think of him in her 
sleep. But, how prevent it .'' There was no prevention ; for when the 
mind (or the imagination, if you prefer the word) is thoroughly imbued 
with a subject of this nature, especially if unhappiness mingles with it, 
then the dreams follow necessarily the bent of the waking thoughts. 
Poor Lady Isabel would awaken to self-reproach, restless and feverish ; 
wishing that this terrible disease could be driven away, root and branch : 
but Time, the great healer, must, she knew, pass over her, before that 
could be. 

Mr, Carlyle mounted his horse one morning and rode over to Levison 
Park. He asked for Sir Peter, but was shown into the presence of Lady 
Levison : a young and pretty woman, showily dressed. She inquired 
his business. 

"My business, madam, is with Sir Peter." 

" But Sir I'ctcr is not well enough to attend to business. It upsets 
him ; worries him." 

" Nevertheless, I am here by his own appointment. He mentioned 
twelve o'clock ; and the hour has barely struck." 

Lady Levison bit her lip and bowed coldly ; and at that moment a 



THE FRACTURED ANKLE. 165 

servant appeared to conduct Mr. Carlyle to Sir Peter. The matter 
which had taken Mr. Carlyle thither was entered upon immediately — • 
Francis Levison, his debts, and his gracelessness. Sir Peter, an old 
gentleman in a velvet skull-cap, particularly enlarged upon the latter. 

" I would pay his debts to-day and set him upon his legs again, but 
that I know I should have to do the same thing over and over again to 
the end of the chapter — as I have done before," cried Sir Peter. " His 
grandfather was my only brother, his father my dutiful and beloved 
nephew ; but he is just as bad as they were estimable. He is a worth- 
less fellow, and nothing else, Mr. Carlyle." 

" His tale drew forth my compassion, and I promised I would see 
you and speak for him," returned Mr. Carlyle. " Of Captain Levison's 
personal virtues or vices I know nothing." 

" And the less you know of them the better," growled Sir Peter. " I 
suppose he wants me to clear him and start him afresh ? " 
*' Something of the sort, I conclude." 

" But how is it to be done ? I am at home, and he is over there. His 
affairs are in a state of confusion, and no one can come to the bottom 
of them without an explanation from him. Certain liabilities, for ^\•hich 
I have furnished the money, the creditors swear have not yet been 
liquidated. He must come over if he wants anything done." 
'' Where is he to come to .-' He must be in England stil> rosd." 
" He can't be here," hastily rejoined Sir Peter. " Lady Levison would 
not have him for a day." 

"He might be at East Lynne," good-naturedly observed Mr. Carlyle. 
" No one would dream of looking for him there. I think it is a pity that 
you should not meet, if you do feel inclined to help him." 

" You are a great deal more considerate to him than he deserves, 
Mr. Carlyle. May I ask if you intend to act for him in a professional 
capacity .'' " 
" I do not." 

A few more words, and it was decided that Captain Levison should 
be immediately sent for. As Mr. Carlyle left Sir Peter's presence, he 
encountered Lady Levison. 

" I can scarcely be ignorant that your conference with my husband 
has reference to his grand-nephew," she observed. 
" It has," replied Mr. Carlyle. 

" I have a very bad opinion of him, Mr. Carlyle : at the same time 
I do not wish you to carry away a wrong impression of me. Francis 
Levison is my husband's nephew, his heir presumptive ; it may there- 
fore appear strange that I set my face so determinedly against him. 
Two or three years ago, before my marriage with Sir Peter, in fact 
before I knew Sir Peter, I was brought into contact with Francis 
Levison. He was acquainted with some friends of mine, and at their 
house I met him. He behaved shamefully ill ; he repaid their hos- 
pitality with gross ingratitude : other details and facts, regarding his 
conduct, also became known to me. Altogether, I believe him to be 
a base and despicable man, both by nature and by inclination, and 
that he will remain so to the end of time." 

" I know very little indeed of him," observed Mr. Carlyle. " May I 
inquire the nature of his ill conduct in the instance you mention ? " 



l66 EAST LYNNE. 

" He ruined them. He ruined them, Mr. Carlyle. They were 
simple, unsuspicious country people, understanding neither fraud nor 
vice, nor the ways of an evil world. Francis Levison persuaded them 
to put their names to bills, ' as a simple matter of form, to accommo- 
date him for a month or so,' as he stated, and as they believed. They 
were not rich : they lived in comfort upon their own small estate, but 
with no superfluous money to spare, and when the time came for them 
to pay — as come it did — it brought them ruin, and they had to leave 
their home. He deliberately did it : I am certain that Francis Levison 
deliberately did it, knowing what would be the end. And I could tell 
you of other things. Sir Peter may have informed you that I object 
to receive him here. I do. Ivly objection is to the man, to his 
character ; not owing, as I hear it has been said, to any jealous or 
paltry feeling touching his being the heir. I must lose my own self- 
respect before I admit Francis Levison to my house, an inmate. Sir 
Peter may assist him and welcome, may pay his debts and get him 
out of his scrapes as often as he pleases ; but I wiU not have him 
here." 

" Sir Peter said you declined to receive him. But it is necessary he 
should come to England — if his affairs are to be set straight — and also 
that he should see Sir Peter." 

" Come to England ? " interrupted Lady Levison. " How can he 
come to England under present circumstances ? Unless, indeed, he 
comes cjt cachetter 

" E71 cachette, of course," replied Mr. Carlyle. " There is no other 
way. I have offered to let him stay at East Lynne. He is, you may 
be aware, a connection of Lady Isabel's." 

" Take care that he does not repay j^z^r hospitality with ingratitude," 
warmly returned Lady Levison. " It would only be in accordance 
with his usual practice." 

Mr. Carlyle laughed. " I do not well see what harm he could do 
me, allowing that he had the inclination. He would not scare my 
clients from me ; or beat my children ; and I can take care of my 
purse. A few days, no doubt, will be the extent of his sojourn with us." 

Lady Levison smiled too, and shook hands with Mr. Carlyle. " In 
your house perhaps there may be no field for his vagaries ; but rely 
upon it, where there is one, he is sure to be at some mischief or 
other." 

This visit of Mr. Carlyle's to Levison Park took place on a Friday 
morning, and on his return to his office he despatched an account of 
it to Captain Levison at Boulogne, telling him to come over. But Mr. 
Carlyle, like many another man whose brain has its share of work, 
was sometimes forgetful of trifles, and it quite slipped his memory 
to mention the expected arrival at home. The following evening, 
Saturday, he and Lady Isabel were dining in the neighbourhood, 
when the conversation at table turned upon the Ducies and their 
embarrassments. The association of ideas led Mr. Carlyle's thoughts 
to Boulogne, to Captain Levison and his embarrassments, and it 
immediately occurred to him that he had not told his wife of the 
anticipated visit. He kept it in mind, and spoke as soon as they were 
in the chariot returnin": home. 



THE FRACTURED ANKLE. 167 

" Isabel," he began, " I suppose we have always rooms ready for 
visitors. Because I am expecting one." 

" Oh yes. Or, if not, they are soon made ready." 

"Ay, but to-morrow is Sunday, and I have no doubt that is the 
day he will take advantage of to come. I am sorry I forgot to mention 
it yesterday." 

" Who is coming ? " 

" Captain Levison." 

" Who ? " repeated Lady Isabel in a sharp tone of consternation. 

" Captain Levison. Sir Peter consents to see him, with a view to 
the settlement of his liabilities, but Lady Levison declines to receive 
him at the park. So I offered to give him house room at East Lynne 
for a few days." 

There is an old saying about the heart leaping into the mouth ; and 
Lady Isabel's heart leaped into hers. She grew dizzy at the words ; 
her senses seemed for the moment to desert her : her first sensation 
was as if the dull earth had opened and shown her a way to paradise ; 
her second was a lively consciousness that Francis Levison ought not 
to be suffered to come again into companionship with her. Mr. Car- 
lyle continued to converse of the man's embarrassments, of his own 
interview with Sir Peter, of Lady Levison ; but Isabel was as one who 
heard not. She was delaating the question, how could she prevent his 
coming ? 

" Archibald," she presently said, " I do not wish Francis Levison to 
stay at East Lynne." 

" It will only be for a few days ; perhaps only a day or two. Sir 
Peter is in the humour to discharge' his claims ; and, the moment his 
resolve is known, the ex-captain may walk her Majesty's dominions, 
an unmolested man ; free to go where he v/ill." 

" That may be," interrupted Lady Isabel, in an accent of impatience, 
" but why should he come to our house ? " 

" I proposed it myself. I had no idea you would dislike his coming. 
Why should you ? " 

" I don't like Francis Levison," she murmured. " That is, I don't 
care to have him at East Lynne." 

" My dear. I fear there is no help for it now : he is most likely on 
his road, and will arrive to-morrow : I cannot turn him out again, after 
my own voluntary invitation. Had I known it would be disagreeable 
to you, I should not have proposed it." 

" To-morrow ! " she exclaimed, the only word that caught her ear. 
" Is he coming to-morrow ? " 

" As it is Sunday, a free day, he will be sure to take advantage of it. 
What has he done, that you should object to his coming ? You did 
not say in Boulogne that you disliked him." 

" He has done nothing," was her faltering answer, feeling that her 
grounds of opposition must melt under her, one by one. 

" Lady Levison appears to possess a very bad opinion of him," re- 
sumed Mr. Carlyle. " She says she knew him in years gone by. She 
mentioned one or two things which, if true, were bad enough : but 
possibly she may be prejudiced." 

" She is prejudiced," said Isabel. " At least, so Francis Levison 



i68 EAST LYNNE. 

told me in Boulogne. There appeared to be no love lost between 
them." 

" At any rate, his ill doings or well doings cannot affect us for the 
short time he is likely to remain at East Lynne, You have taken a 
prejudice against him also, I suppose, Isabel?" 

She suffered Mr. Carlyle to remain in the belief, and sat with clasped 
hands and a despairing spirit, feeling that Fate was against her. How 
could she accomplish her task of forgetting this man, if he was thus 
to be thrown into her home and her companionship .'' Suddenly she 
turned to her husband, and laid her cheek upon his shoulder. 

He thought she was tired. He passed his arm round her waist, 
drew her face to a more comfortable position, and bent his own lovingly 
upon it. It came into her mind as she lay there, to tell him a portion 
of the truth, as it had done once before. It was a strong arm of shelter 
round her ; a strong pillar of protection, he upon whom she leaned ; 
why did she not confide herself to him as trustingly as a little child ? 
Simply because her courage failed. Once, twice, the opening words 
were upon her lips, but come forth they did not ; and then the carriage 
stopped at East Lynne, and the opportunity was over. Oh, how many 
a time, in after years, did Lady Isabel recall that midnight drive with 
her husband, and wish, in her vain repentance, that she had opened 
his eyes to that dangerous man ! 

The following morning proved a wet one, but it cleared up in the 
middle of the day. In the afternoon, however, whilst they were at 
church, rain came on again. 

" Cornelia," whispered Mr. Carlyle, approaching his sister when 
service was over, " it is raining heavily : you had better return with us 
in the pony carriage. John can walk." 

Not she. Had it poured cats and dogs Miss Carlyle would not have 
gone to or from church otherwise than on her legs, and off she started 
with her large umbrella. Mr. Carlyle and Isabel soon passed her, 
striding along the footpath, some of the servants behind her. Not in 
attendance upon Miss Carlyle : she would have scorned such attend- 
ance more than she scorned the pony carriage. No matter what might 
be the weather, this adventurous lady would be seen pushing through 
it ; through the summer's heat, and the winter's snow ; through the 
soft shower and the impetuous storm ; that great umbrella (it might 
have covered a moderate haystack) her almost constant companion, 
for Miss Corny was one of those prudent spirits who like to be prepared 
for contingencies and to be on the safe side ; those who act up to the 
maxim, " When it's fine take an umbrella ; when it rains, do as you 
like." In fine weather she chose the pathway through the fields, but 
not in wet weather, for the damp grass did not agree with her petti- 
coats. 

Mr. Carlyle had driven through the gates and was winding up the 
avenue, when sounds of distress were heard, and they saw little Isabel 
flying towards them from the slopes, crying and sobbing in the greatest 
agitation. Mr. Carlyle jumped out and met the child. 

" Oh, papa, papa ! oh come, pray come ! I think she is dead." 

He took the child in his arms to soothe her. " Hush, my little 
darling, you will alarm mamma. Don't tremble so. Tell me what it is." 



THE FRACTURED ANKLE. 169 

Isabel told her tale. She had been a naughty child, she freely con- 
fessed, and had run out in the rain for fun because Joyce told her not. 
She had run into the wet grass of the park, down the slopes, Joyce 
after her. And Joyce had slipped and was lying at the foot of the 
slopes with a white face, never moving. 

" Take care of her, Isabel," said Mr. Carlyle, placing the agitated 
and repentant child by his wife's side. " She says Joyce has fallen by 
the slopes. No, do not come : 1 will go first and see what has 
happened." 

Joyce was lying just as she fell, at the foot of the slopes. But her 
eyes were open now, and if she had fainted — as might be inferred from 
the little girl's words — she had recovered consciousness. 

" Oh, sir, don't try to move me ! I fear my leg is broken." 

He did, however, essay gently to raise her, but she screamed with 
pain, and he found he must wait for assistance. " 1 trust you are not 
much hurt," he kindly said. " How did it happen ? " 

" Miss Isabel ran out, sir, in all the rain and wet, and I went after 
her to bring her back again. But the slopes are slippery, and down I 
went, and just at first I remembered nothing more." 

Mr. Carlyle despatched John and the pony carriage back for Mr. 
Wainwright, and with the aid of the servants, who were soon up from 
church, Joyce was carried in, and laid on a bed, dressed as she was. 
Mr. Carlyle and Lady Isabel remained with her. Miss Carlyle also 
was there, fidgeting and banging about, getting things ready that she 
fancied might be wanted, and pressing cordials upon Joyce which the 
latter could not take. Miss Carlyle's frame of mind, between sympathy 
and anger, was rather an explosive one : altogether, she did more harm 
than good. Little Isabel stole in and drew her mother away from the 
bed. 

" Mamma," she whispered, " there is a strange gentleman downstairs. 
He came in a chaise. He has a portmanteau, and he is asking for you 
and papa." 

Lady Isabel turned sick with apprehension. Had he really come ? 

" "Who is it, Isabel ? " she said, by way of makmg some answer : she 
guessed only too well. 

" I don't know. I don't like him, mamma. He took hold of me and 
held me, and there was an ugly look in his eyes." 

" Go round the bed and tell your papa that a stranger is downstairs," 
said Lady Isabel. 

" Mamma," shivered the child, before she stirred to obey, " will 
Joyce die ^ " 

" No, dear ; I hope not." 

" Because you know it will be my fault. Oh, mamma, I am so 
sorry ! what can I do ? " 

" Hush ! If you sob, it will make Joyce worse. Go and whisper to 
papa about the gentleman." 

" But will Joyce ever forgive me ? " 

" She has forgiven you already, I am sure, Isabel ; but you must be 
all the more obedient to her for the future. Go to papa, my dear, as I 
tell you." 

The stranger was of course Captain Levison. Mr. Carlyle went 



I70 EAST LYNNE. 

down to receive and entertain him. Lady Isabel did not, the accident 
to her maid being put forth as an excuse, 

Mr. Wainwright pronounced the injury to be a simple fracture of the 
ankle-bone. It might have been much worse, he observed, but Joyce 
would be confined to her bed for three or four weeks. 

"Joyce," whispered Isabel, " I'll come and read my Bible-stories to 
you always ; always and always ; I know mamma will let me, and then 
you won't be dull. And there's that beautiful new book of fairy-tales 
with the pictures ; you'll like to hear them ; there's about a princess 
who was locked up in a castle with nothing to eat." 

Joyce faintly smiled, and took the child's eager little hand in hers. 

Later in the evening, Isabel and William were in the room with 
Mr. Carlyle. "These are fine children," observed Francis Levison. 
" Beautiful faces ! " 

" They resemble their mother much, I think," was the reply of Mr, 
Carlyle. " She was a very lovely child." 

" Did you know Lady Isabel as a child?" inquired Francis Levison, 
some surprise in his tone. 

" I frequently saw her. She used to stay here with Lady Mount 
Severn." 

" Ah, by the way, this place was Mount Severn's property then. 
What a reckless man he was ! Young lady, I must take possession of 
you," continued Captain Levison, extending his hand and drawing 
Isabel towards him. " You ran away from me when I first came, and 
would not tell me what your name was." 

" I ran away to tell mamma that you were here. She was with Joyce." 

" Joyce ! Who is Joyce ? " 

" Lady Isabel's maid," interposed Mr. Carlyle. " The one to whom, 
as I told you, the accident had just happened. A particularly valued 
servant in our family, is Joyce." 

" It is a curious name," remarked Captain Levison. "Joyce — Joyce ! 
I never heard such a name. Is it a Christian or surname?" 

" She was baptized Joyce. It is not so very uncommon. Her name 
is Jovce Hallijohn. She has been with us several years." 

At this moment Isabel, having been trying in vain to escape from 
Captain Levison, burst into tears. Mr, Carlyle inquired what was 
amiss, 

"jl 'don't like him to hold me," was the response of Miss Isabel, 
ignoring ceremony. 

Captain Levison laughed and held her tighter. But Mr. Carlyle rose, 
and with quiet authority drew away the child, and placed her on his 
own knee. She hid her face upon him, and put up her little hand 
round his neck. 

" Papa, I don't like him," she whispered softly ; " I am afraid of him. 
Don't let him take mc again." 

Mr. Carlylc's only answer was to press her to him, " You are not 
accustomed to children, Captain Levison," he observed. " They arc 
curious little plants to deal with, capricious and sensitive." 

" They must be a great worry," was the rejoinder. " This accident 
to your servant must be a serious one. It will confine her to her bed 
for some time, I presume ? " 



MRS. HARE'S DREAM. 171 

" For weeks, the doctor says. And no possibility of her getting up 
from it." 

Captain Levison rose, caught hold of William in apparent glee, and 
swung him round. Unlike his sister, the boy laughed, and seemed 
to enjoy the fun. 



CHAPTER V. 

MRS. HARE'S DREAM. 



The next day rose bright, warm, and cloudless, and the morning sun 
streamed into the bedroom of Mrs. Hare. That lady lay in bed, a 
flush on her delicate cheeks, and her soft eyes rather glistening, as if 
with a touch of fever. The justice, in a cotton nightcap with a tassel, 
s.it on a chair tying his drawers at the knee, preparatory to inducting 
his legs into his pantaloons — if any single damsel in years, who may 
read this, wiir forgive this slight revelation as to the mysteries of a 
gentleman's toilette. The pantaloons assumed, and the braces fastened, 
the justice threw his nightcap on to the bed and went up to the wash- 
stand, where he splashed away for a few minutes at his f;ice and 
hands : he never shaved until after breakfast. Mr. and Mrs. Hare were 
of the old-fashioned class who knew nothing about dressing-rooms ; 
their bedroom was very large, and they had never used a dressing- 
room in their lives, or found the need of one. The justice rubbed his 
face to brilliancy, settled into his morning wig and his dressing-gown, 
and then turned to the bed. 

" What will you have for breakfast ? " 

" Thank you, Richard, I do not think that I can eat anything. I 
shall be glad of my tea ; I am very thirsty." 

" All nonsense," responded the justice, alluding to the intimation of 
not eating. " Have a poached cgg.^^ 

Mrs. Hare smiled at him and gently shook her head. "You are 
very kind, Richard, but I could not take it this morning. Barbara may 
send up the smallest bit of dry toast." 

" My belief is, that you just ^i^ive ivay to this notion of feeling ill, 
Anne," cried the justice. " It's half fancy, I know. If you'd get up 
and shake it off, and come down, you would enjoy your breakfast and 
be set up for the day. Whereas you lie here, taking nothing but 
trashy tea, and get up afterw.ards weak, shaky, and fit for nothing." 

" It is ever so many weeks, Richard, since I lay in bed to breakfast," 
remonstrated poor Mrs. Hare. " I really don't think I have done so 
once, since — since the spring." 

" And have been all the better for it." 

" But indeed I am not equal to getting up this morning. Would 
you please throw this window open before you go down. I should like 
to feel the air." 

'' You will get the air too near from this window," replied Mr. Justice 
Hare, opening the further one. Had his wife requested the further one 
to be opened, he would have opened the other ; his own will and 
opinions were ever paramount. Then he descended. 



172 EAST LYNNE. 

A minute or two, and up ran Barbara, looking bright and fair as 
the morning, her pink mushn dress with its ribbons and its open white 
lace sleeves as pretty as she was. She leaned over to kiss her mother. 

Barbara had grown more gentle and tender of late years. The 
bitterness of her pain had passed away, leaving all that had been good 
in her love to mellow and fertilize her nature. Her character had been 
greatly improved by sorrow. . 

"Mamma, are you ill.'' And you have been so well lately: you 
went to bed so well last night ! Papa says " 

" Barbara, dear," interrupted Mrs. Hare, glancing round the room 
with dread, and speaking in a deep whisper : " I have had one of those 
dreadful dreams again." 

" Oh, mamma, how can you ! " exclaimed Barbara, starting up in 
vexation. " How can you suffer a foolish dream so to overcome you 
as to make you ill ? You have good sense in other matters ; but, in 
this, you seem to put all sense away from you." 

" Child, will you tell me how I am to help it ?" returned Mrs. Hare, 
taking Barbara's hand and drawing her to her again. " I do not give 
myself these dreams ; 1 cannot prevent their making me sick, prostrate, 
feverish. I was as well yesterday as I could be ; 1 went to bed quite 
comfortable ; in excellent spirits ; I do not know that I had even once 
thought of poor Richard during the day. And yet the dream came. 
There were no circumstances to lead to or induce it, either in my 
thoughts or in absolute facts ; but, come it did. How can I help these 
things, I ask ? " 

" And it is so long since you had one of these disagreeable dreams ! 
Why, how long is it, mamma ? " 

" So long, Barbara, that the dread of them had nearly left me. I 
scarcely think I have had one since that stolen visit of Richard's, years 
ago." 

" Was it a very bad dream, mamma ? " 

" Oh, child, yes. I dreamt that the real murderer came to West 
Lynne : that he was with us here, and we " 

At this moment the bedroom door was flung open, and the face of 
the justice, especially stern and cross, was pushed in. So startled was 
Mrs. Hare, that she shook until she shook the pillow, and Barbara 
sprang away from the bed. Surely he had not distinguished their 
topic of conversation ! 

" Are you coming to make breakfast to-day, or not, Barbara ? Do 
you expect me to make it ? " 

" She is coming this instant, Richard," said Mrs. Hare, her voice 
more faint than usual. And the justice turned and stamped down 
again. 

" Barbara, could your papa have heard me mention Richard ? " 

" No, no, mamma, impossible ; the door was shut. I will bring up 
your breakfast myself, and then you can tell me about the dream." 

Barbara flew after Mr. Hare, poured out his coffee, saw him settled 
at his breakfast, with a plateful of grouse-pie before him, and then 
returned with her mother's tea and dry toast. 

" Go on with the dream, mamma," she said. 

" But your own breakfast will be cold, child." 



MRS. HARE'S DREAM. 173 

" Oh, I don't mind that. Did you dream of Richard ? " 

" Not very much of Richard ; except that the old and continuous 
trouble, of his being away and unable to return, seemed to follow it 
all through. You remember, Barbara, Richard asserted to us, in that 
short, hidden night visit, that he did not commit the murder ; that it 
was another who did so ? " 

" Yes, I remember," replied Barbara. 

" Barbara, I am convinced he spoke truth : I trust him implicitly." 

" I feel sure of it also, mamma." 

" I asked him, you may remember, whether it was Otway Bethel 
who committed it ; for I have always doubted Bethel in a vague 
indefinite manner : Richard replied that it was not Bethel, but a 
stranger. Well, Barbara, in my dream I thought that stranger came 
to West Lynne ; that he came to this house, here, and we were talking 
to him of it, conversing as we might with any other visitor. Mind 
you, we seemed to hioiv that he was the one who actually did it ; but 
he denied it ; he wanted to put it upon Richard : and I saw him — 
yes, I did, Barbara — whisper to Otway Bethel. But oh, I cannot tell 
you the sickening horror that was upon me throughout, and seemed 
to be upon you also, lest he should make good his own apparent 
innocence, and crush Richard, his victim. I think the dread and horror 
awoke me." 

" What was this stranger like ? " asked Barbara, in a low tone. 

" Well, I cannot quite tell you : the recollection of his appearance 
seemed to pass away from me with the dream. He was dressed as a 
gentleman, and we conversed with him as an equal." 

Barbara's mind was full of Captain Thorn ; but his name had not 
been mentioned to Mrs. Hare, neither would she mention it now. She 
fell into deep thought, and Mrs. Hare had to speak twice before she 
could be aroused. 

" Barbara, I say, don't you think that this dream, coming uncalled- 
for, uninduced, must forbode some ill .'' Rely upon it, something 
connected with that wretched murder is going to be stirred up again." 

" You know, mamma, I do not believe in dreams," was Barbara's 
answer. " I think when people say, ' This dream is a sign of such and 
such a thing,' it is the greatest absurdity in the world. I wish you 
could remember what the man was like in your dream." 

'■ I wish I could," answered Mrs. Hare, breaking off a particle of her 
dry toast. " All I remember is, that he appeared to be a gentleman." 

" Was he tall ? Had he black hair ? " 

Mrs. Hare shook her head. " I tell you, my dear, the remembrance 
has passed from me ; so whether his hair was dark or light, I cannot 
say. I think he was tall : but he was sitting down, and Otway Bethel 
stood behind his chair. I seemed to feel that Richard was outside the 
dnor, in hiding, trembling lest the man should go out and see him 
there ; and I trembled too. Oh, Barbara, it was a distressing dream ! " 

" I wish you could avoid having them, mamma, for they seem to 
upset you very much." 

" Why did you ask whether the'man was tall, and had black 
hair ? " 

Barbara returned an evasive answer. It would not do to tell Mrs. 



174 EAST LYNNE. 

Hare that her suspicions pointed to one particular quarter : it would 
have agitated her too greatly. 

"So vivid was the dream, so like reality, that even when I awoke I 
could not for some minutes believe that the murderer was not actually 
at West Lynne," resumed Mrs. Hare. " The impression that he is 
here, or is coming here, is upon me still ; a sort of undercurrent of 
impression, you understand, Barbara : of course my own good sense 
tells me that there is no real foundation for supposing this to be the 
case. Oh, Barbara, Barbara ! " she added, in a tone of wailing, as 
her head drooped forward, in its pain, until it ested on her daughter's 
arm, " when will this unhappy state of things end ? One year glides 
away and another comes ; year after year, year after year the years 
drag on, and Richard remains an exile ! " 

Barbara spoke not : what sympathy or comfort could she offer in 
words ? the case admitted of none : but she pressed her lips upon her 
mother's pale forehead. 

" Child, I am growing sick, sick to hear of Richard. My heart aches 
for the sight of him," went on the poor lady. " Seven years next spring, 
since he stole here to see us. Seven years, and not a look at his beloved 
face, not a word of news from him to say that he is yet in life ! Was 
any mother ever tried as I am tried ? " 

" Dear mamma, don't ! You will make yourself ill." 

" I am ill already, Barbara." 

"Yes ; but this grief and emotion will make you worse. People say 
that the seventh year always brings a change : it may bring one as 
regards Richard. It may bring him clearance, mamma, for all we 
know. Do not despair." 

" Child ! I do not despair. Despondency I cannot help at times 
feeling, but it has not reached despair. 1 believe, I truly believe that 
God will some time bring the right to light ; how can I despair, then, 
while 1 trust in Him?" 

There was a pause, which Barbara broke. " Shall I bring you up 
some more tea, mamma ? " 

" No, my dear. Send me some up, for I am still thirsty ; but you 
must remain below and take your own breakfast. What may your 
papa not be suspecting, if you do not ? Guard your very countenance. 
I always dread lest, if we appear sad, he should suppose we are thinking 
of Richard." 

" And what if he did, mamma ? Surely thoughts are free." 

" Hush, Barbara ! hush ! " repeated Mrs. Hare, in a whispered tone 
of warning. "You know the oath he has taken to bring Richard to 
justice ; you know how determined he is ; and you know that he fully 
believes Richard to be guilty. If he found we dwelt upon his inno- 
cence, he might be capable of scouring the whole land from one end of 
it to the other in search of him, to deliver him up to trial. Your papa 
is so very " 

" Pig-headed," put in Barbara, saucily, though it was not precisely a 
young lady's word, and her cherry lips pouted after uttering it. 

" I5arbara ! " remonstrated Mrs. Hare. " I was going to say so very 
just." 

"Then I say he would be cruel and unnatural, rather than just, if he 



MRS. HARE'S DREAM. 175 

were to search the country that he might dehver up his own son to 
death," returned Barbara, boldly, but with wet eyelashes. Very care- 
fully did she dry them, before entering the breakfast-room. 

The dinner-hour of the Hares, when they were alone, was four 
o'clock, and it arrived that day as usual, and they sat down to tabic. 
Mrs. Hare was better then ; the sunshine and the business of stirring 
life had in some measure effaced the visions of the night, and restored 
her to her wonted frame of mind. The justice mentioned the accident 
to Joyce : they had not heard of it ; but they had not been out during 
the day, and had received no visitors. Mrs. Hare was full of concern : 
Joyce was a universal favourite. 

The cloth was removed, and the justice sat only a little while over 
his port wine, for he was engaged to smoke an after-dinner pipe with 
a brother magistrate, Mr. Justice Herbert. 

" Shall you be home to tea, papa ? " inquired Barbara. 

" Is it any business of yours, young lady ? " 

" Oh, not in the least," answered Miss Barbara. " Only, if you had 
been coming home to tea, I suppose we must have waited for you." 

" I thought you said, Richard, that you were going to spend the 
evening with Mr. Herbert," observed Mrs. Hare. 

" So I am," responded the justice. " But Barbara has a great liking 
for the sound of her own tongue." 

The justice departed, striding pompously down the gravel-walk. 
Barbara waltzed round the large room to a merry song, as if she felt 
his absence a relief. Perhaps she did so. " You can have tea now, 
mamma, at any time you please, without waiting until seven," said she. 

" Yes, dear. Barbara." 

" What, mamma ? " 

" I am sorry to hear of this calamity which has fallen upon Joyce. 
I should like to walk to East Lynne this evening and inquire after 
her ; and see her, if I may. It would be only neighbourly." 

Barbara's heart beat more quickly. Hers was indeed a true and 
lasting love, one that defied time and change. Having to bury it 
wholly within her, had perhaps only added to its force and depth. Who 
could suspect, under Barbara's sometimes cold, sometimes playful 
exterior, that one was hidden in her heart, filling up its every crevice .'' 
one who had no right there. The intimation that she might soon 
possibly be in his presence, sent every pulse throbbing. 

" Walk, did you say, mamma ? Should you do right to walk ? " 

" I feel quite equal to it. Since I have accustomed myself to take 
more exercise I feel better for it, and we have not been out to-day. 
Poor Jo)-ce ! What time shall we go, Barbara ? " 

"If we were to get up there by — by seven, I should think they will 
have dined." 

" Yes," answered Mrs. Hare with alacrity, who was always pleased 
when some one else decided for her. " But I should like some tea 
before we start, Barbara." 

Barbara took care that her mamma should have some tea, and then 
they proceeded towards East Lynne. It was a lovely evening. The 
air v.'as warm, and the humming gnats sported in it, as if anxious to 
make the most of the waning summer. Mrs. Hare enjoyed it at first. 



176 EAST LYNNE. 

but ere she reached East Lynne she became aware that the walk was 
too much for her. She did not usually venture upon so long a one ; 
and probably the fever and agitation of the morning had somewhat 
impaired her day's strength. She placed her hand upon the iron gate 
as they were turning into the park, and stood still. 

" I did wrong to come, Barbara." 

" Lean on me, mamma. When you reach those benches, you can 
rest before proceeding to the house. It is very warm, and that may 
have fatigued you." 

They gained the benches, which were placed under some of the dark 
trees, in view of the gates and the road, but not of the house, and 
Mrs. Hare sat down. Another minute, and they were surrounded. 
Mr. Carlyle, his wife and sister, who were taking an after-dinner stroll 
amidst the flowers with their guest, Francis Levison, discerned them 
and came up. The children, except the youngest, were of the party. 
Lady Isabel warmly welcomed Mrs. Hare : she had become quite 
attached to the delicate and suffering woman. 

" I am a pretty one, am I not, Archibald, to come inquiring after an 
invalid, when I am so much of an invalid myself that I have to stop 
half way ! " exclaimed Mrs. Hare, as Mr. Carlyle took her hand. " I 
am greatly concerned to hear of poor Joyce." 

" You must stay the evening now you are here," cried Lady Isabel. 
" It will afford you a rest, and tea will refresh you." 

" Oh, thank you, but we have taken tea," said Mrs. Hare. 

" That is no reason why you should not take some more," she 
laughed. " Indeed, you seem too fatigued to be anything but a 
prisoner with us for this next hour or two." 

" I fear I am," answered Mrs. Hare. 

" Who are they ? " Captain Levison was muttering to himself, as he 
contemplated the guests from a distance. " A deuced lovely girl, who- 
ever she may be. I think I'll approach ; they don't look formidable." 

He did approach, and the introduction was made. " Captain 
Levison, Mrs. Hare, and Miss Hare." A few formal words, and 
Captain Levison disappeared again, challenging little WiUiam Carlyle 
to a foot-race. 

" How very ill your mamma looks ! " Mr. Carlyle exclaimed to 
Barbara, when they were beyond the hearing of Mrs. Hare, who was 
busy talking with Lady Isabel and Miss Carlyle. " She has appeared 
so much stronger lately ; altogether better." 

" The walk here has fatigued her ; I feared it would be too long ; so 
that she looks unusually pale," replied Barbara. " But what do you 
think has upset her again, Mr. Carlyle ?" 

He turned his inquiring eyes on Barbara. 

" Papa came downstairs this morning saying mamma was ill with 
one of her old attacks of fever and restlessness. As papa spoke, I 
thought to myself, could mamma liave been dreaming some foolish 
drcani again-for you reincnibcr how ill she used to be after them. 
I ran up, and the first thing mamma said to me was, that she had 
had one of those dreadful dreams." 

" I fancied she must have outlived her fear of them ; that her own 
good sense had come to her aid long ago, showing Iilt how futile dreams 



MRS. HARE'S DREAM. 177 

are, even if hers do occasionally touch upon that — that unhappy 
mystery." 

" You may just as well reason with a post as reason with mamma, 
when she is suffering from the influence of one of those dreams," 
returned Barbara, " I tried it this morning ; I asked her to call up — ■ 
as you observe — good sense to her aid. All her answer was, ' Hor/ 
could she help her feelings ? She did not induce the dream by thinl^- 
ing of Richard, or in any other way, and yet it came and shattered 
her.' Of course, so far, mamma is right, for she cannot help che 
dreams coming." 

Mr. Carlyle made no immediate reply. He picked up a ball 
belonging to one of the children, which lay in his path, and began 
tossing it gently in his hand. " It is a singular thing," he observed, 
presently, " that we do not hear from Richard." 

" Oh, very ; very. And I know mamma distresses herself about it, 
A f'ew words, which she let fall this morning, betrayed it plainly. 
I am no believer in dreams," continued Barbara, " but I cannot deny 
that these, which take such hold upon mamma, bear upon the case in 
a curious maner. The one she had last night especially." 

" What was it ? " asked Mr. Carlyle. 

" She dreamt that the real murderer was at West Lynne. She 
thought he was at our house — as a visitor, she said, or as one making 
a morning call — ^and that she and I were conversing with him about 
the murder. He wanted to deny it ; to put it upon Richard ; and he 
turned and whispered to Otway Bethel, who stood behind his chair. 
That is another strange thing," added Barbara, lifting her blue eyes in 
their deep earnestness to the face of Mr. Carlyle. 

" What is strange .'' You speak in riddles, Barbara." 

" I mean, that Otway Bethel should invariably appear in her dreams. 
Until that stolen visit of Richards we had no idea that Bethel was 
near the spot at the time, and yet he had always made a prominent 
feature in these dreams. Richard assured mamma that Bethel had 
nothing to do with the murder, could have had nothing to do with it ; 
but I do not think he shook mamma's belief that he had; that he was 
in some way connected with the mystery, though not, perhaps, the actual 
perpetrator. W'ell, Archibald, mamma has not dreamt of it, as she 
believes, since that visit of Richard's until last night ; when again 
there was Bethel prominently in the dream. It certainly is singular." 

Barbara, in the heat of her subject, in forgetfulness of the past, had 
called him by the old familiar name, " Archibald : " it was only when 
she was on the stilts of propriety and coldness that she said " Mr. 
Carlyle." 

" And who was the murderer — in your mamma's dream ? " continued 
Mr. Carlyle, speaking as gravely as though he were upon a subject 
that men ridicule not. 

" She cannot remember ; except that he seemed a gentleman, and 
that we held intercourse with him as one. Now, that again is remark- 
able. We never told her, you know, our suspicions of Captain Thorn : 
Richard said ' another ' had done it, but he did not give mamma the 
faintest indication of who that other might be, or what sphere of life he 
moved in. It seems to me that it would be more natural for mamrr-a 

£<i.st Lynne. 12 



178 EAST LYNNE. 

to have taken up the idea that he was an obscure man ; we do not 
generally associate the notion of gentlemen with murderers : and yet, 
in her dream, she saw that he was a gentleman." 

" I think you must be becoming a convert to the theor)' of dreams 
yourself, Barbara ; you are so very earnest," smiled Mr. Carlyle. 

" No, not to dreams ; but I am earnest for my dear brother Richard's 
sake. Were it in 7ny power to do anything to elucidate the mystery, 
I would spare no pains, no toil ; I would walk barefooted to the end of 
the earth to bring the truth to light. If ever that Thorn should come 
to West Lynne again, I will hope, and pray, and strive, to be able to 
bring it home to him." 

"That Thorn does not appear in a hurry, again to favour West 
Lynne with his " 

Mr. Carlyle paused, for Barbara had hurriedly laid her hand upon 
his arm with a warning gesture. In talking, they had wandered 
across the park to its ornamental grounds, and were now in a quiet 
path, overshadowed on either side by a chain of imitation rocks. Seated 
astride on the summit of these rocks, right above where Mr. Carlyle 
and Barbara were standing, was Francis Levison. His face was 
turned from them, and he appeared intent upon a child's whip, winding 
leather round its handle. Whether he heard their footsteps or not, he 
did not turn. They quickened their pace, and left the walk, bending 
their steps backwards towards the group of ladies. 

"Could he have heard what we were saying?" ejaculated Barbara, 
below her breath. 

Mr. Carlyle looked down on the concerned, flushed cheeks with a 
smile. Barbara was evidently disturbed. But for a certain episode 
in their lives, some years ago, he might have soothed her. 

" I think he must have heard a little, Barbara : unless his own wits 
were wool-gathering : he might not have been attending. What if he 
did hear? it is of no consequence." 

" I was speaking, you know, of Captain Thorn— of his being the 
murderer." 

" You were not speaking of Richard or his movements, so never 
mind. Levison is a stranger to the whole ; it is nothing to him : if 
he heard the name of Thorn mentioned, or could even have distin- 
guished the subject, it would bear for him no interest ; would, as 
the saying runs, go in at one car and out at the other. Be at rest, 
Barbara." 

He really did look somewhat tenderly upon her as he spoke — and 
they were near enough to Lady Isabel for her to note the glance. 
She need not have been jealous : it bore no treachery to her. But 
she did note it : she had noted also their wondering away together, 
and she jumped to the conclusion that it was premeditated — that they 
had gone beyond her sight to enjoy each other's society for a few 
stolen moments. Wonderfully attractive looked Barbara that evening 
for Mr. Carlyle or any one else to steal away with. Her elegant, airy 
summer attire, her bright blue eyes, her charming features, and her 
lovely complexion. She had untied the strings of her pretty white 
bonnet, and Avas restlessly playing with them, more in thought than 
nervousness. 



MRS. HARE'S DREAM. 179 

"Barbara, love, how are we to get home.'"' asked Mrs. Hare. " I 
fear I shall never be able to walk. I wish I had told Benjamin to 
bring the phaeton." 

" I can send to him," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" But it is too bad of me, Archibald, to take you and Lady Isabel by 
storm in this unceremonious manner, and to give your servants trouble 
besides." 

" A great deal too bad, I thmk," returned Mr. Carlyle, with mock 
gravity. " As to the servants, the one who has to go will never recover 
from the trouble, depend upon it. You always were more concerned 
for others than for yourself, dear Mrs. Hare." 

" And you were always kind, Archibald, clearing away difficulties 
for all, and making a trouble of nothtng. Ah, Lady Isabel, were 
I a young woman, I should envy you your good husband : there are 
not many like him." 

Possibly the sentence reminded Lady Isabel that another, who was 
young, might be envying her. Isabel's cheeks flushed crimson. Mr. 
Carl)le held out his strong arm to Mrs. Hare. 

" If sufficiently rested, 1 fancy you would be more comiortable on a 
sofa indoors. Allow me to support you thither." 

"And you can take my arm on the other side," cried Miss Carlyle, 
placing her tall form by Mrs. Hare. " Between us both we will pull 
you bravely along : your feet need scarcely touch the ground." 

Mrs. Hare laughed, but said she thought Mr Carlyle's arm would 
be sufficient. She took it, and they were turning towards the house, 
when her eye caught the form of a gentleman passing along the road 
by the park gates. 

'' Barbara, run ! " she hurriedly exclaimed. " There's Tom Herbert 
going towards our house : he will call in and tell them to send the 
phaeton, if you ask him, which will save trouble to Mr. Carlyle's 
servants. Haste, child ; you will be up with him in half a minute." 

Barbara, thus urged, set off, on the spur of the moment, towards the 
gates, before the rest of the party well knew what was being done. 
it was too late for Mr. Carlyle to stop her and repeat that a servant 
should go, for Barbara was already up with Mr. Tom Herbert. The 
latter had seen her running towards him, and waited at the gate. 

" Are you going past our house ? " inquired Barbara, perceiving then 
that Oiway Bethel also stood there, but just beyond view of the 
avenue. 

" Yes. Why ? " replied Tom Herbert, who was not famed for polite- 
ness, being blunt by nature and " fast " by habit. 

" Mamma would be so much obliged to you if you would call in and 
leave word that Benjamin is to bring up the phaeton. Mamma walked 
here, intending to walk home, but she hnds herself so fatigued as to be 
unequal to it." 

" All right : I'll call and send hun. What time ? " 

Nothing had been said to Barbara about the time, so that she was 
at liberty to name her own. " Ten o'clock. We shall be home then 
before papa." 

"' That you will," responded Tom Herbert. " He and the governor 
ind two or three more old codgers ^re blowing clouds till you can't see 



i8o EAST LYNNE. 

across the room : and they are sure to be at it again after supper. I 
say, Miss Barbara, are you good for a few picnics ! " 

" Good for a great many," returned Barbara. 

" Our girls want to get up some in the next week or two. Jack is at 
home, you know." 

" Is he ? " said Barbara, in surprise. 

" We had the letter yesterday, and he arrived to-day, a brother- 
officer with him. Jack vows if the girls don't cater well for them in 
the way of amusement, he'll never honour them by spending his leave 
at home again : so mind you keep yourself in readiness for any fun 
that may turn up. Good evening." 

" Good evening. Miss Hare," added Otway Bethel. As Barbara was 
returning their salutation, she became conscious of other footsteps, 
advancing from the same direction that they had come, and moved 
her head hastily round. Two gentlemen, walking arm-in-arm, were 
close upon her, in one of whom she recognized "Jack," otherwise 
Major Herbert. He stopped and held out his hand. 

"It is some years since we met, but I have not forgotten the pretty 
face of Miss Barbara," he cried. "A young girl's face it was then, but 
it is a stately young lady's now." 

Barbara laughed. " Your brother told me you had arrived at West 
Lynne ; but I did not know you were so close to me. He has been 
asking me if I am ready for some pic " 

Barbara's voice faltered, and the rushing crimson of emotion dyed 
her face. Whose face was that^ who was he, standing opposite to her, 
side by side with John Herbert.'' She had seen the face but once, yet 
it had implanted itself upon her memory in characters of fire Major 
Herbert continued to talk, but Barbara for once lost her self-posses- 
sion. She could not listen ; she could not answer ; she could only stare 
at that face as if fascinated to the gaze, looking herself something like 
a simpleton, her shy blue eyes anxious and restless, and her lips 
turning to an ashy whiteness. A strange feeling of wonder, of super- 
stition, was creeping over Barbara. Was that man before her in sober 
reality 1 — or was it but a phantom, called up in her mind by the 
associations arising from her mother's dream ; or by the conversation 
held not many moments ago with Mr. Carlyle ? 

Major Herbert may have thought that Barbara, who was not attend- 
ing to him, but to his companion, wished for an introduction, and he 
accordingly made it. " Captain Thorn; Miss Hare." 

Then Barbara roused herself ; her senses were partially coming back 
to her, and she became alive to the fact that they must deem her 
behaviour unorthodox for a young lady. 

" I — I — looked at Captain Thorn, for I thought I remembered his 
face," she stammered. 

" I was in West Lynne for a day or two some five years ago," he 
observed. 

" Ah — yes," returned Barbara. " Are you going to make a long stay 
now ? " 

" W^e have several weeks' leave of absence. Whether we shall re- 
main here the whole time I cannot say." 

Barbara parted from them. Thought upon thought crowded upon 



MRS. HARE'S DREAM. i8i 

her brain as she flew back to East Lynne. She ran up the steps to 
the hall, gliding towards a group which stood near its further end — 
her mother, Miss Carlyle, Mr. Carlyle, and little Isabel ; Lady Isabel 
she did not see. Mrs. Hare was then going up to see Joyce. In the 
agitation of the moment she stealthily touched Mr. Carlyle, and he 
stepped away from the rest to speak to her. She drew back towards 
the door of one of the reception rooms, and motioning him to 
approach. 

" Oh, Archibald, I must speak to you alone. Could you not come 
out again for a little while ? " 

He nodded, and walked out openly by her side. Why should he not 
do so.'' What had he to conceal? But, unfortunately. Lady Isabel, 
who had only gone into that same room for a minute and was coming 
out again to join Miss Hare, both saw Barbara's touch upon her 
husband's arm, marked her agitation, and heard her words. She went 
to one of the hall windows and watched them saunter towards the more 
retired parts of the grounds : she saw her husband send back Isabel. 
Never, since her marriage, had Lady Isabel's jealousy been excited as 
it was excited that evening. 

"I — I feel — I scarcely know whether I am awake or dreaming," 
began Barbara, putting up her hand to her brow, and speaking in a 
dreamy tone. " Pardon me for bringing you out in this unceremonious 
manner." 

" What state secrets have you to disclose ? " asked Mr. Carlyle, in 
a jesting manner. 

" We were speaking of mamma's dream. She said the impression it 
left upon her mind — that the murderer was at West Lynne — was so 
vivid that, in spite of common sense, she could not persuade herself to 
the contrary. Well — just now " 

" Barbara, what cati be the matter ? " said Mr. Carlyle, perceiving 
that her agitation was so great as to impede her words. 

" I have just seen hitn^'' she rejoined. 

" Seen him ? " echoed Mr. Carlyle, looking at her fixedly, a doubt 
crossing his mind whether Barbara's mind might be as wandering as 
her manner. 

" What were almost my last words to you ? That if ever that Thorn 
did come to West Lynne again, I would leave no stone unturned to 
bring it home to him. He is here, Archibald. When I went to the 
gates to speak to Tom Herbert, his brother Major Herbert was also 
there, and with him Captain Thorn ; Bethel also. Do you wonder, I 
say, that I know not whether I am awake or dreaming ? They have 
some weeks' holiday, and are here to spend it." 

",It is a singular coincidence," exclaimed Mr. Carlyle, 

" Had anything been wanting to convince me that Thorn is the 
guilty man, this would have done it," went on Barbara in her excite- 
ment. " Mamma's dream, with the steadfast impression it left upon 
her that Hallijohn's murderer was now at West Lynne " 

In turning the sharp corner of the covered walk, they came into 
contact with Captain Levison, who appeared to be either standing or 
sauntering there, his hands under his coat-tails. Again Barbara felt 
vexed, wondering how much he had heard, and beginning in her heart 



i82 EAST LYNNE 

to dislike the man. He accosted them famiharly, and appeared as if he 
would have turned with them but none could put down presumption 
more effectually than Mr, Carlyle, calm and gentlemanly though he 
always was. 

" I will join you presently, Captain Levison," he said, with a wave of 
the hand. And he turned back with Barbara towards the open parts 
of the park. 

" Do you like that Captain Levison ? '' she abruptly inquired, when 
they were beyond hearing. 

" I cannot say that I do," was Mr. Carlyle's reply. ** He is one who 
does not improve upon acquaintance." 

" To me, it looks as though he had placed himself in our way to 
hear what we were saying." 

" No, no, Barbara. What interest could it bear for him ? " 

Barbara did not contest the point : she turned to the one nearer at 
heart. " What must be our course with regard to Thorn ? " 

" It is more than I can tell you," replied Mr. Carlyle. " I cannot go 
up to the man and unceremoniously accuse him of being Hallijohn's 
murderer. In the first place, Barbara, we are not positively sure that 
he is the man spoken of by Richard." 

" Oh, Archibald, how can you doubt ? The extraordinary fact of 
his appearing here at this moment, coupled with mamma's dream, 
might assure us of it." 

" Not quite," smiled Mr. Carlyle. " All we can do is to go cautiously 
to work, and endeavour to ascertain whether he is the same or not." 

" And there is no one but you to do it ! " wailed Barbara. " How 
vain and foolish are our boastings ! I said I would not cease striving 
to bring it ome to him, did he come again to West Lynne ; and now 
he is here, even as the words were in my mouth, and what can I do ? 
Nothing." 

They took their way to the house, for there was nothing further to 
discuss. Captain Levison had entered before them, and saw Lady 
Isabel standing at the hall window. Yes, she was standing and 
looking ; brooding over her fancied wrongs. 

" Who is that Miss Hare ? " he demanded in a cynical tone. " They 
appear to have a pretty good understanding together : twice this even- 
ing I have met them in secret conversation." 

" Did you speak to me, sir ? " sharply and haughtily returned Lady 
Isabel. 

" I did not mean to offend you : I spoke of Mr. Carlyle and Miss 
Pare," he replied in a gentle voice. He knew she had distinctly heard 
his first remark in spite of her question. 



CHAPTER VI. 

CAPTAIN THORN IN TROUBLE. 



In talking over a bygone misfortune, we sometimes make the remark, 
or hear it made, " Circumstances worked against it." Such and such 
a thing might have turned out differently, we say, had the surrounding 



CAPTAIN THORN IN TROUBLE. 183 

circumstances been more in favour, but they were in opposition : 
they were dead against it. Now, if ever attendant circumstances can 
be said to have borne a baneful influence upon any person in this 
world, they most assuredly did at the present time upon Lady Isabel 
Carlyle. 

Coeval, you see, with the arrival of the ex-captain, Levison, at East 
Lynne, all the jealous feeling touching her husband and Barbara Hane, 
was renewed, and with greater force than ever. Barbara : painfully 
anxious that something should be brought to light by which her brother 
should be exonerated from the terrible charge under which he lay, fully 
believing that Frederick Thorn, Captain in her Majesty's service, was 
the man who had committed the crime, as asserted by Richard : was in 
a state of excitement bordering on frenzy. Too keenly she felt the 
truth of her own words, that she was powerless, and could, of herself, 
do nothing. When she rose in the morning, after a night passed in 
troubled reflection more than in sleep, her thoughts were, " Oh, that 
I could this day find out something certain ! " She was often at the 
Herberts ; frequently invited there, sometimes going uninvited. She 
and the Miss Herberts were intimate, and they pressed Barbara into 
all the impromptu fetes got up for their brother now he was at home. 
There she of course saw Captain Thorn, and now and then she was 
enabled to pick up scraps of his past history. Eagerly were these 
scraps carried to Mr. Carlyle. Not to his office ; Barbara would not 
appear there. It may be, that she feared, if seen haunting Mr. Cai-lyle's 
office. Captain Thorn might come to hear of it, and suspect the agita- 
tion that was afloat — for who could know better than he the guilt that 
was falsely attaching to Richard .'' Therefore she chose rather to go 
to East Lynne, or to waylay Mr. Carlyle as he passed to and from 
business. It was very little that she gathered to tell him. One evening 
she met him with the news that Thorn had been in former years at 
West Lynne, though she could not fix the date : another time she 
went boldly to East Lynne in eager anxiety, ostensibly to make a call 
on Lady Isabel — and a very restless one it was— contriving to make 
Mr. Carlyle understand that she wanted to see him alone. He went 
out. with her when she departed, and accompanied her as far as the 
park gates, the two evidently absorbed in earnest converse : Lady 
Isabel's jealous eyes saw that. The communication Barbara had to 
make was, that Captain Thorn had let fall the avowal that he had 
once been " in trouble," though of its nature no indication was given. 
Another journey of hers took the scrap of news, that she had discovered 
he knew Swainson well. Part of all this, nay, perhaps the whole of it, 
Mr. Carlyle had found out for himself ; nevertheless he always received 
Barbara with vivid interest. Richard Hare was related to Miss Carlyle, 
and if his innocence could be made clear in the sight of men, it would 
be little less gratifying to them than to. the Hares. Of Richard's 
innocence, Mr. Carlyle now entertained little, if any, doubt, and he 
was becoming impressed with the guilt of Captain Thorn. The latter 
spoke mysteriously of a portion of his past life — when he could be 
brought to speak of it at all — and he bore evidently some secret that 
he did not care to allude to. 

But now, look at the treachery of that man, Francis Levison ! The 



184 EAST LYNNE. 

few meetings that Lady Isabel witnessed between her husband and 
Barbara would have been quite enough to excite her anger and jealousy, 
and to trouble her peace ; but, in addition, Francis Lexison took 
care to tell her of those she did not see. It pleased him — he best 
knew his own motive — to watch the movements of Mr. Carlyle and 
Barbara. There was a hedged pathway through the fields on the 
opposite side of the road to the residence of Justice Hare, and as Mr. 
Carlyle walked down the road to business, in his unsuspiciousness 
(not one time in fifty did he choose to ride : he said the walk to and 
fro kept him in health), Captain Levison would be strolling down like 
a serpent behind the hedge, watching all his movements, watching his 
inten,-iews with Barbara, if any took place, watching Mr. Carlyle turn 
into the Grove, as he sometimes did, and perhaps watching Barbara 
run out of the house to meet him. It was all retailed, with miserable 
exaggeration, to Lady Isabel, whose jealousy, as a natural sequence, 
grew feverish in its extent. 

It is scarcely necessary to explain that of Lady Isabel's jealousy 
Barbara knew nothing : not a shadow of suspicion had ever penetrated 
to her mind that Lady Isabel was jealous of her. Had she been told 
that this was the fact she would have laughed in derision at her 
informant. Mr. Carlyle's happy wife, proudly secure in her position 
and in his affection, jealous of herj of her, to whom he never gave an 
admiring look or a loving word ! It would have taken a great deal to 
make Barbara believe that. 

How different were the facts in reality. These meetings of Mr. 
Carlyle's and Barbara's, instead of being episodes of love-making and 
tender speeches, were positively painful to Barbara, from the unhappy 
nature of the subject to be discussed. Far from feeling a reprehen- 
sible pleasure in seeking the meetings with Mr. Carlyle, Barbara 
shrank from them. But that she was urged by dire necessity, in the 
interests of Richard, she would wholly have avoided them. Poor 
Barbara, in spite of that explosion years ago, was a lady, possessed of 
a lady's ideas and feelings, and— remembering that explosion — it did 
not at all accord with her pride to be thrusting herself into what might 
be called secret meetings with Archibald Carlyle. But Barbara, in 
her love for her brother, repressed all thoughts of self, and went per- 
sevcringly forward for Richard's sake. 

Mr. Carlyle was seated one morning in his private room at his office, 
when his head clerk, Mr. Dill, came in. " A gentleman is asking to 
see you, Mr. Archibald." 

" I am too busy to see any one for this hour to come. You know 
that, Dill." 

" So I told him, sir, and he says he will wait. It is that Captain 
Thorn who is staying here with John Herbert." 

Mr. Carlyle raised his eyes, and they encountered those of the old 
man : a peculiar expression was in the face of both. Mr. Carlyle 
glanced down at the parchments he was perusing, as if calculating his 
time. Then he looked up again and spoke. 

" I will see him, Dill. Send him in." 

The business, leading to the visit, was very simple. Captain 
Frederick Tliorn hail got iiimself into some trouble and vexation about 



CAPTAIN THORN IN TROUBLE. 185 

a " bill " — as too many other captains do on occasions, and he had 
come to crave advice of Mr. Carlylc. 

Mr. Carlyle felt dubious as to giving it. This Captain Thorn was a 
pleasant, attractive man, who won much on acquaintance ; one whom 
Mr. Carlylc would have been pleased, in a friendly point of view, and 
setting professional interests apart, to help out of his difficulties ; but 
if he were the villain they suspected him to be, the man with crime 
upon his hand, then Mr. Carlyle would have ordered his office door 
held wide that he might slink out of it. 

" Cannot you advise me as to what my course ought to be ? " he 
inquired, detecting Mr. Carlyle's hesitation. 

" I could advise you, certainly. But — you must excuse my plain 
speaking. Captain Thorn — I like to know who my clients are, before I 
take up their cause or accept them as clients." 

" I am able to pay you," was Captam Thorn's reply. " I am not 
short of ready money ; only this bill " 

Mr. Carlylc laughed out, after having bit his lip with annoy- 
ance. 

" It was a natural inference of yours," he said, "but I assure you I 
was not thinking of your purse. My father held it right never to 
undertake business for a stranger : unless a man was good, and his 
cause good, he did not entertain it : and I have acted on the same 
principle. By these means, the position and character of our business 
is such as is rarely obtained by a solicitor. Now, in saying that you 
are a stranger to me, I am not casting any doubt upon you, Captain 
Thorn ; I am merely upholding my ordinary practice." 

" My family is well connected," was Captain Thorn's next venture. 

" I-2xcuse me ; family has nothing to do with it. If the poorest day 
labourer, if a pauper out of the workhouse came to me for advice, he 
should be heartily welcome to it, provided he were an honest man in 
the face of day. Again I repeat, you must take no offence at what I 
say, for I cast no reflection on you ; I only urge that you and your 
character are unknown to me." 

Curious words from a lawyer to a client-aspirant, and Captain Thorn 
found them so. But Mr. Carlyle's tone was so courteous, his manner 
so affable, in fact, he was so thoroughly the gentleman, that it was 
impossible to feel hurt. 

" Well — how can I convince you that I am respectable ? I have 
served my country ever since I was sixteen, and my brother-officers 
have found no cause of complaint. My position as an officer and a 
gentleman would be generally deemed a sufficient guarantee. Inquire 
of John Herbert. The Herberts, too, are friends of yours, and they 
have not disdained to give me house-room amidst their family." 

" True," returned Mr. Carlyle, feeling that he could not well object 
further ; and also that all men should be considered innocent until 
proved guilty. " At any rate, I will advise you as to what must be done 
at present," he added, " though if the affair must go on, I do not 
promise that I can continue to act for you, I am very busy just now." 

Captain Thorn explained his dilemma, and IMr. Carlyle told him 
what to do in it. " Were you not at West Lynne some ten years ago .'' " 
he suddenly inquired at the close of the conversation. " You denied 



iS6 EAST LYNNE. 

it to me once at my house, but I concluded, from an observation you 
let fall, that you had been here." 

" Yes, I was," replied Captain Thorn, in a confidential tone. " I 
don't mind owning it to you in confidence, but I do not wish it to get 
abroad. I was not at West Lynne, but in its neighbourhood. The 
fact is, when I was a careless young fellow, I was stopping a few 
miles from here, and got into a scrape, through a — a — in short, it 
was an affair of gallantry. I did not show out very well at the time, 
and I don't care that it should be known that I am in the county 
again." 

Mr. Carlyle's pulses — for Richard Hare's sake — beat a shade quicker. 
The avowal " an affair of gallantry • was almost a confirmation of his 
suspicions. 

" Yes," he pointedly said. " The girl was Afy Hallijohn." 

" Afy — who ? " repeated Captain Thorn, opening his eyes, and fixing 
them on Mr. Carlvle's. 

"Afy Hallijohn'" 

Captain Thorn continued to look at Mr. Carlyle, an amused expres- 
sion, rather than any other, predominant on his features. " You are 
mistaken," he observed. " Afy Hallijohn ? I never heard the name 
before in my life." 

" Did you never hear, or know, that a dreadful tragedy was enacted 
in this place about that period ? " returned Mr. Carlyle, in a low, 
meaning tone. " That Afy Hallijohn's father " 

" Oh, stay, stay, stay," hastily interrupted Captain Thorn. " I am 
telling a story in saying I never heard the name. Afy Hallijohn ? 
Why, that's the girl Tom Herbert was telling me about : who — what 
was it ? — disappeared, after her father was murdered." 

" Murdered in his own cottage ; almost in Afy's presence ; murdered 

by — by " Mr. Carlyle recollected himself : he had spoken more 

impulsively than was his custom. " Hallijohn was my father's faithful 
clerk for many years," he more calmly concluded. 

" And he who committed the murder, was young Hare, son of 
Justice Hare, and brother to that attractive girl, Barbara. Your 
speaking of this has brought what they told me to my recollection. 
The first evening I was at the Herberts', Justice, Hare and others were 
there, smoking— half a dozen pipes were going at once ; 1 also saw Miss 
Barbara that evening at your park gates ; and Tom told me of the 
murder. An awful calamity for the Hares. I sujjpose that is the 
reason the young lady is INIiss Hare still. One, with her fortune and 
good looks, ought to have changed her name ere this " 

" No, it is not the reason," resumed Mr. Carlyle. 

" What is the reason, then ? " 

A faint flush tinged Mr. Carlyle's brow. " I know more than one 
who would be glad to have Barbara, in spite of the murder. Do not 
depreciate Miss Hare." 

" Not I, indeed ; I like the young lady too well," replied Captain 
Thorn. " The girl Afy has never been heard of since, has she ? " 

" Never," said Mr. Carlyle. " Did you know her well ? " he delibe- 
rately added. 

" 1 never knew her at all, if you mean Afy Hallijohn. Why should 



CAPTAIN THORN IN TROUBLE. 187 

you think I did ? I never heard of her till Tom Herbert amused me 
with the history." 

Mr. Carlyle devoutly wished he could tell whether the man before 
him was speaking truth or falsehood. He continued : 

" Afy's favours — I mean her smiles and her chatter — were pretty 
freely dispersed, for she was heedless and vain. Amidst others who 
had the credit for occasionally basking in her rays, was a gentleman of 
the name of Thorn. Was it not yourself? " 

Captain Thorn stroked his moustache with an air that seemed to 
say he could boast of his share of such baskings ; in short, as if he felt 
half inclined to do it. " Upon my word," he simpered, " you do me too 
much honour : I cannot confess to having been favoured by Miss Afy." 

" Then she was not the — the damsel you si)cak of, who drove you — 
if I understood aright — from the locality ? " resumed Mr. Carlyle, 
fixing his eyes upon him, so as to take in every tone of the answer, 
and shade of the countenance, as he gave it. 

" I should think not, indeed. It was a married lady, morc's the 
pity ; young, pretty, vain, and heedless, as you represent this Afy. 
Things went smoother after a time, and she and her husband — a stupid 
country yeoman — became reconciled. But I have been ashamed of the 
affair ever since ; doubly ashamed of it since I have grown wiser, and 
I do not care ever to be recognized as the actor in it, or to have it 
raked up against me." 

Captain Thorn rose, and took a somewhat hasty leave. Was he, 
or was he not the man ? Mr. Carlyle could not solve the doubt. 

Mr. Dill came in as he disappeared, closed the door and advanced 
to his master, speaking in an undertone. 

" Mr. Archibald, has it struck you that the gentleman just gone out 
may be the Lieutenant Thorn you once spoke to me about ? — he who 
had used to gallop over from Swainson to court Afy Hallijohn " 

" It has struck me so most fo"cibly," replied Mr. Carlyle. " Dill, I 
would give five hundred pounds out of my pocket this moment, to be 
assured of the fact — if he is the same." 

" I have seen him several times since he has been staying with the 
Herberts," pursued the old gentleman, " and my doubts have naturally 
been excited, as to whether it coulrt be the man in question. Curiously 
enough, Bezant, the doctor, was over here yesterday from Swainson ; 
and, as I was walking with him arm-in-arm, we met Captain Thorn. 
The two recognized each other and bowed, but merely as distant 
acquaintances. 'Do you know that gentleman?' said I to Bezant. 
' Yes,' Jie answered, * it is Mr. Frederick.' ' Mr. Frederick with 
something added to it,' said I . * his name is Thorn.' ' I know that,' 
returned Bezant, " but when he was in Swainson some years ago, he 
chose to drop the Thorn, and the town in general knew him only as 
Mr. Frederick.' 'What was he doing there, Bezant?' I asked. 
'Annising himself and getting into mischief,' was the answer : 
' nothing very bad ; only the random scrapes of young men.' ' Was 
he often on horseback, riding to a distance ? ' w as my next question. 
' Yes, that he was,' replied Bezant ; ' none more fond of galloping 
across country than he : I used to tell him he'd ride his horse's 
tail oft".' Now, Mr. Archibald, what do you think ? " concluded the old 



i88 EAST LYNNE. 

clerk : " and so far as I could make out, this was about the very time 
of the tragedy at Hallijohn's." 

" Think ? " replied Mr. Carlyle, " what can I think but that it is the 
same man ? I am convinced of it now." 

And, leaning back in his chair, he fell into a deep reverie, regardless 
of the parchments that lay before him. 



CHAPTER VI I. 

THE SECRET SCRAP OF PAPER. 



The weeks went on ; two or three of them : and things seemed to be 
progressing backwards rather than forwards — if that is not an Irishism. 
Francis Levison's affairs — that is, the adjustment of them — did not 
advance : creditors were obstinate. He had been three times over to 
Levison Park, securely boxed up in Mr. Carlyle's close carriage from 
prying eyes ; but Sir Peter seemed to be turning as obdurate as the 
creditors. Captain Levison had deceived him, he found out : inasmuch 
as certain sums of money, handed over by Sir Peter some time back to 
settle certain claims, had been by the gentleman appropriated to his 
own purposes. Sir Peter did not appear inchned to forgive the deceit, 
and vowed he would do nothing further for the present. There was 
nothing for him but to return to the Continent, Captain Levison 
observed. And the best place for him ; plenty of scamps congregated 
there, was the retort of Sir Peter. He apparently meant what he said, 
for when Francis Levison rose to leave. Sir Peter took out of his 
pocket-book notes to the value of ;i^ioo, told him that would pay the 
expense he had been put to in coming, and that his allowance would be 
continued as usual. 

" How did you get on to-day with Sir Peter ? " inquired Mr. Carlyle, 
that evening at dinner, when his guest was back at East Lynne. 

" Middhng," replied Francis Levison. " I did not do much with him. 
These old stagers like to take their own time over things." 

An answer false as he was. It did not suit his plans to quit East 
Lynne yet ; and, had he told the truth, he would have had no plea for 
remaining. 

Another thing that was going on fast to bad, instead of to good, 
was the jealousy of Lady Isabel. How could it be otherwise, kept 
up, as it was, by Barbara's frequent meetings with Mr. Carlyle, and 
by Captain Levison's comments and false insinuations regarding them ? 
Discontented with herself and with every one about her, Isabel was 
living now in a state of excitement ; a dangerous resentment against 
her husband working in her heart. That very day, the one of Captain 
Levison's visit to Levison Park, in driving through West Lynne in 
the pony carriage, she had come upon her husband in close converse 
with Barbara Hare. So absorbed were they that they never saw her, 
thougli her carriage passed close to the pavement on which they stood. 

On the following morning, as the Hare family were seated at break- 
fast, the postman was seen coming towards the house. Barbara sprang 
from her seat to tlic open window, and tlie man advanced to her. 



THE SECRET SCRAP OF PAPER. 189 

" Only one, miss. It is for yourself." 

" Who is it from ? " began the justice, as Barbara returned to her 
chair. In letters, as in other things, he was curious to know their 
contents, whether they were addressed to himself or not. 

" It is from Anne, papa," replied Barbara, as she placed the letter by 
her side on the table. 

" Why don't you open it and see what she says ? " 

" I will, directly. I am just going to pour out some more tea for 
mamma." 

Barbara handed her mother the tea, 'and then took up her letter. 
As she opened it, a small bit of folded paper fell upon her lap. For- 
tunately, most fortunately. Justice Hare, who at the moment had his 
nose in his coffee-cup, did not see it, but Mrs. Hare did. 

" Barbara, you have dropped something." 

Barbara had seen it also, and was clutching stealthily at the " some- 
thing " with almost a guilty movement. She had no answer at hand, 
but bent her eyes upon her letter, and Mrs. Hare spoke again. 

'• My love, something dropped on to your lap." 

" Don't you hear your mamma, young lady?" pursued the justice. 
" W^hat is it you have dropped ? " 

Barbara, with a crimson face, rose from her chair and shook out her 
pretty muslin dress — somehow, Barbara's dresses were always pretty. 
" There's nothing at all, papa, nothing that I can see." And, in 
sitting down, she contrived to give her mother a warning look, which 
silenced Mrs. Hare. Then Barbara read her sister's letter, and laid 
it open on the table for the benefit of any one who might like to do the 
same. 

The justice snatched it up, taking first benefit to himself — as he was 
sure to do. He threw it down, grumbling. 

" Not much in it. There never is in Anne's letters : she won't set 
the Tliamcs on fire as a correspondent. As if any one cared to hear 
about the baby's being ' short-coated ! ' I think I'll have a cup more 
coffee, Barbara." 

Finally the justice finished his breakfast and strolled out into the 
garden. Mrs. Hare turned to Barbara. 

" My dear, why did you give me that mysterious look ? And what 
was it that dropped into your lap.? It seemed to fall from Anne's 
letter." 

" Well, mamma, it did fall from Anne's letter. You know how 
exacting papa is — always v/ill see and inquire into everything — so, 
when Anne wants to tell me any bit of news that she does not care 
the whole world to know, she writes it on a separate bit of paper and 
puts it inside her letter I suppose it was one of those bits that fell 
out." 

" Child, I cannot let you insinuate that your papa has no right to 
look into your letters." 

" Of course not, mamma," was Miss Barbara's rejoinder. " But if 
he had a grain of common sense, he might know that I and Anne 
may sometimes have little private matters to say to each other, not 
necessary or expedient for him to pry into." 

Barbara had produced the scrap of paper as she spoke, and was 



igo EAST LYNNE. 

opening it. Mrs. Hare watched her movements, and her countenance. 
She saw the latter flush suddenly and vividly, and then become deadly 
pale : she saw Barbara crush the note in her hand when read. 
• " Oh, mamma ! " she uttered. 

The flush of emotion came also into Mrs. Hare's delicate cheeks. 
" Barbara ! is it bad news ? " 

" Mamma, — it — it — is about Richard ! " she whispered, glancing at 
the door and window, to see that none might be within sight or 
hearing. " I never thought of him : I only fancied Anne might be 
sending me some bit of news concerning her own affairs. Good 
Heavens ! how fortunate — how providential that papa did not see the 
paper fall ; and that you did not persist in your inquiries ! If he^— " 

" Barbara, you are keeping me in suspense," interrupted Mrs. 
Hare, who had also grown white. "What should Anne know about 
Richard 1 " 

Barbara smoothed out the writing and held it before her mother. 
It was as follows : 

" I have had a curious note from R. It was without date or signa- 
ture, but I knew his handwriting. He tells me to let you know, in 
the most sure and secret manner, that he will soon be paying you 
another night visit. You are to watch the grove every evening when 
the present moon grows bright." 

Mrs. Hare covered her face for some minutes. " Thank God for all 
His mercies," she murmured. 

" Oh, mamma, but it is an awful risk for him to run ! " 

" But to know that he is in life — to know that he is in life ! And as 
for the risk — Barbara, I dread it not. The same good God who pro- 
tected him through the last visit, will protect him through this. He 
will not forsake the oppressed and the innocent. Destroy that paper, 
child." 

"Archibald Carlyle must first see it, mamma, 1 will destroy it after- 
wards." 

" Then seek him to-day and show it him. I shall not be easy until 
it is destroyed, Piarbara." 

Braving the comments of the gossips, hoping the visit would not 
reach the ears or eyes of the justice, Barbara went that day to the 
office of Mr. Carlyle. He was not there : he was not at West Lynne : 
he had gone to Lynneborough on business, and Mr. Dill thought it 
(loul)tful whether he would be at the office again that day. If so, it 
would be late in the afternoon. Barbara, as soon as their own dinner 
was over, took up he. patient station at the gate, hoping to see him 
pass ; Init the time wcul by, and he did not do so. She had little 
doubt that he had returned home without going again to West Lynne. 

What should slic do? Go up to East Lynne and see him, said her 
conscience. Barbara's mind was in a strangely excited state. It 
appeared to her that this visit of Richard's must have been csj^ecially 
designed by Providence, that he might be confronted with Thorn. 
That they must be confronted tlie one with the other, or rather, that 
Richard must have the opportunity given him of seeing Thorn, was 
a matter of course ; thougli liow it was to be brought about, Barbara 
could not guess. Eor all action, all plans, slie must depend upon Mr. 



THE SECRET SCRAP OF PAPER. 191 

Carlyle ; he ought to be put into immediate possession of the news, for 
the moon was ah-eady three or four days old, and there was no know- 
ing when Richard might appear. 

" Mamma," she said, returning indoors, after seeing the justice depart 
upon an evening visit to the Buck's Head, where he and certain other 
justices and gentlemen sometimes congregated to smoke and chat : " I 
shall go up to East Lynne if you have no objection. I must see Mr. 
Carlyle." 

" What objection can I have, my dear ? I am all anxiety for you to 
see him. It was so unfortunate that he w-as out to-day when you 
ventured to his office. Mind you tell him all : and ask l.im what is best 
to be done." 

Away went Barbara. It had struck seven when she arri\ed at East 
Lynne. 

" Is Mr. Carlyle disengaged ?" 

" Mr. Carlyle is not yet home, miss. My lady and Miss Carlyle are 
waiting dinner for him." 

A check for Barbara. The servant asked her to walk in, but she 
declined, and turned from the door. She was in no mood for paying 
visits. 

Lady Isabel had been standing at the window watching for her 
husband, wondering what made him so late : she observed Barbara 
approach the house, and saw her walk away again. Presently the 
servant who had answered the door entered the drawing-room. 

" Was not that Miss Hare ? " 

" Yes, my lady," was the man's reply. " She wanted my master, I 
said your ladyship was at home, but she would not enter." 

Isabel said no more. She caught the eyes of Francis Levison fixed on 
her with as much compassionate meaning as they dared express. She 
clasped her hands in pain, and turned again to the window. 

Barbara was slowly walking down the avenue, Mr. Carlyle was then 
in sight, walking quickly. Lady Isabel saw their hands meet in 
greeting. 

" Oh, I am so thankful to have met you ! " exclaimed Barbara, im- 
pulsively. " I actually went to your office to-day, and I have been now 
to your house. We have great news ' " 

" Ay ! What ? About Thorn ? " 

" No, about Richard," replied Barbara, taking the scrap of paper from 
the folds of her dress. " This came to me this morning, from Anne." 

Mr. Carlyle took the document, and Barbara looked over him whilst 
he read it : neither of them thinking that Lady Isabel's jealous eyes, and 
Captain Levison's evil ones, were strained on tliem from the distant 
windows. Miss Carlyle's also, for the matter of that. 

" Archibald, it seems to me that Providence must be directing him 
hither at this moment. Our suspicions, with regard to Thorn, can now 
be set at rest. You must contrive that Richard shall see him. What 
can he be coming again for ? " 

INIore money, was the supposition of Mr. Carlyle. " Does INIrs. Hare 
know of this .'' " 

She does, unfortunately. I opened the paper before her, never 
dreaming it was connected with Richard. I wish I could have spared 



192 EAST LYNNE. 

mamma the news, until he was actually here : the expectation and 
suspense I fear will make her ill. It terrifies me to such an extent that 
I don't know what I am about," she continued. " Not a moment's rest 
or peace shall I have until he has been and is gone again. Poor, 
wandering, unhappy Richard ! and not to be guilty ! " 

" He acted as though he were guilty, Barbara. And that line of 
conduct often entails as much trouble as real guilt." 

" You do not believe him guilty ? " she almost passionately uttered. 

" I do not. I have little doubt of the guilt of Thorn." 

" Oh, if it could but be brought home to him ! " reiterated Barbara ; 
" so that Richard might be cleared in the sight of day. How can you 
contrive that he shall see Thorn ? 

" I cannot tell ; I must think it over. Let me know the instant he 
arrives, Barbara." 

" Of course I shall. It may be that he does not want money ; that 
his errand is only to see mamma. He was always so fond of her." 

" I must leave you," said Mr. Carlyle, taking her hand in token of 
farewell. Then, as the thought occurred to him, he turned and walked 
a few steps with her, without releasing it. He was probably quite 
unconscious that he retained it : she was not so. 

" You know, Barbara, if he should want money and it should not be 
convenient to Mrs. Hare to supply it at so short a notice, I can give it 
him, as I did before." 

" Thank you, thank you, Archibald. Mamma felt sure you would." 

She lifted her eyes to his with an expression of gratitude : but for 
the habitual control to which she had schooled herself, a warmer feeling 
might have mingled with it. Mr. Carlyle nodded pleasantly, and then 
set off rapidly towards the house. 

Five minutes in his dressing-chamber, and he entered the drawing- 
room, apologizing for having kept them waiting, and explaining that he 
had been compelled to go to his office to give some orders, after his 
return from Lynneborough. Lady Isabel's lips were pressed together, 
and she preserved an obstinate silence. Mr. Carlyle, in his unsuspicion^, 
did not notice it. 

" What did Barbara Hare want ? " demanded Miss Carlyle, during 
dinner. 

" She wanted to see me on business," was his reply, given in a tone 
that certainly did not invite his sister to pursue the subject. " Will you 
take some more fish, Isabel ? " 

" What was that you were reading over with her ? " pursued the 
indefatigable Miss Corny. " It looked like a note." 

"Ah, that would be telling," returned Mr. Carlyle, willing to turn 
off with gaiety. "If young ladies choose to make me privy to their 
love-letters, I cannot betray confidence, you know." 

"What rubbish, Archibald ! " quoth she. "As if you could not say 
outright what Barbara wants, without making a mystery of it. And she 
seems to be always wanting vou now." 

Mr. Cai'ylc glanced at his sister, a quick, peculiar look : it seemed, 
to her, to speak both of seriousness and warning. Involuntarily her 
thoughts- and her fears - Hew to the past. 

"Archibald ! Archibald I " she uttered, repeating the name as if she 



THE SECRET SCRAP OF PAPER. 193 

could not get any further, in her dread. " It — it — is never — that old 
affair is never being reaped up again ? " 

Now, Miss Carlyle's "old affair" referred to one sole and sore point 
— Richard Hare : and so Mr. Carlyle understood it. Lady Isabel un- 
happily believed that any " old affiiir " could only have reference to the 
bygone loves of her husband and Barbara. 

" You will oblige me by going on with your dinner, Cornelia," 
gravely responded Mr. Carlyle. Then — assuming a more laughing 
tone — " I tell you it is unreasonable to expect me to betray a young 
lady's secrets, although she may choose to confide them professionally 
to me. What say you. Captain Levison ? " 

Captain Levison bowed ; a smile of mockery, all too perceptible to 
Lady Isabel, on his lip. And Miss Carlyle bent her head over her 
plate, and went on with her dinner, as meek as a lamb. 

That same evening. Lady Isabel's indignant and rebellious heart 
condescended to speak of it when alone with her husband. 

" What is it that she wants with you so much, that Barbara Hare ? " 

" It is private business, Isabel. She has to bring me messages from 
her mother." 

" Must the business be kept from me ? " 

He was silent for a moment, considering whether he might teU her. 
But it was impossible he could speak, even to his wife, of the suspicion 
they were attaching to Captain Thorn ; it would have been unfair and 
wrong : neither could he betray that a secret visit was expected from 
Richard. To no one would he betray that : unless Miss Corny, with 
her questioning, drew it out of him : and she was safe and true. 

"It would not make you happier to know it, Isabel. There is a 
dark secret, you are aware, touching the Hare fiimily : it is connected 
with that." 

She did not put faith in a word of the reply. She believed he could 
not tell her because her feelings, as his wife, would be outraged by the 
confession : and it goaded her anger into recklessness. Mr. Carlyle on 
his part, never gave a thought to the supposition that she might be 
jealous : he had believed that nonsense at an end years ago. He was 
perfectly honourable and true, giving her no shadow of causs or reason 
to be jealous of him : and, being a practical, matter-of-fact man, it did 
not occur to him that she could be so. 

Lady Isabel was sitting the following morning, moody and out of 
sorts. Captain Levison had accompanied Mr. Carlyle in the most 
|j^endly manner possible to the park gates on his departure, and then 
-Men along the hedge-walk. He returned to Lady Isabel with the 
i^vs of an '• ardent " interview with Barbara, who had been watching 
for Mr. Carlyle at the gate of the Grove. She sat, sullenly digesting 
the iidings, when a note was brought in. It proved to be an invita- 
tion to dinner for the following Tuesday, at a Mrs. Jeafferson's — for 
Mr. and Lady Isabel Carlyle and Miss Carlyle. 

She drew her desk towards her petulantly, to answer it on the spur 
of the moment, first of all passing the note across the table to Miss 
Carlyle. 
" Do you go ? " asked Miss Carlyle. 
" Yes," replied Lady Isabel. " Mr. Carlyle and I both want a change 

Ban L-vT-i;?, '■'> 



194 



EAST LYNNE. 



of some sort," she added, in a mocking sort of spirit ; " it may be as 
well to have it, if only for an evening." In truth, this unhappy 
jealousy, this distrust of her husband, appeared to have altered Lady 
Isabel's very nature. 

'• And leave Captain Levison alone ? " returned Miss Carlyle. 

Lady Isabel bent over her desk, making no reply. 

"What will you do with him, I ask.?" persisted Miss Carlyle. 

" He can remain here, and dine by himself. Shall I accept the 
invitation for you ? " 

" No ; I shall not go," said Miss Carlyle. 

" Then, in that case, there can be no difficulty with regard to 
Captain Levison," coldly spoke Lady Isabel. 

" I don't want his company : I am not fond of it," cried Miss 
Carlyle. " I would go to Mrs. JeafTerson's, but that I should require 
a new dress." 

" That's easily had," said Lady Isabel. " I shall want one myself" 

" Vou want a new dress ! " uttered Miss Carlyle. "Why, you have 
dozens ! " 

'' I don't know that I could count a dozen in all," returned Isabel, 
chafing at the remark and the continual thwarting put upon her by 
Miss Carlyle, which had latterly seemed to be more than usually hard 
to endure. Trifling ills try the temper more than great ones. 

Lady Isabel concluded her note, folded, sealed it, and then rang the 
bell. As the man left the room with it, she desired that Wilson might 
be sent to her. 

"Is it this morning, Wilson, that the dressmaker comes to try on 
Miss Isabel's dress?" she inquired. 

Wilson hesitated and stammered, and glanced from her mistress to 
Miss Carlyle. The latter looked up from her work. 

" The dressmaker's not coming," spoke she, sharply. " I counter- 
manded the order for the frock, for Isabel does not require it." 

" She does require it," answered Lady Isabel, in perhaps the most 
displeased tone she had ever used to Miss Carlyle. " I am a compe- 
tent judge of what is necessary for my own children." 

" She no more requires a new frock than that table requires one, or 
than you require the one you are longing for," stoically persisted Miss 
Carlyle. " She has ever so many lying by : and her striped silk, 
turned, will make up as handsome as ever." 

Wilson backed out of the room and closed the door softly, but her 
mistress caught a compassionate look directed towards her. H 
heart felt bursting with indignation and despair : there seemed to 
no side on which she coukl turn for refuge. Pitied by her o' 
servants ! 

She re-opened her desk, and dashed off a haughty, peremptory note 
for the attendance of the dressmaker at East Lynne, commanding its 
immediate despatch. 

Miss Corny groaned in her wrath. " You will be sorry for not 
listening to nie, ma'am, when your hnsljand shall be brought to 
poverty. He works like a horse now ; and, with all his slaving, can 
scarcely, I fear, keep expenses down." 

Poor Lady Isabel, ever sensitive, began to think they might, what 



I 



RICHARD HARE AT MR. DILL'S WINDOW. 195 

with one thing and another, be spending more than Mr. Carlylc's 
means would justify ; she knew that their expenses were considerable. 
The same tale had been dinned into her ear ever since she married him. 
She gave up in that moment all thought of the new dress for herself 
and for Isabel : but her spirit, in her deep unhappiness, felt sick and 
faint within her. 

Wilson meanwhile had flown to Joyce's room, and was exercising 
her dearly-beloved tongue in an exaggerated account of the matter : 
how Miss Carhle put upon my lady, and had forbidden a new dress to 
her, as well as the frock to Miss Isabel. 

Joyce, sitting up that day for the first time, was gazing from the 
window at Captain Levison as Wilson spoke. 

" He's a handsome man— to look at him from here," she observed. 

And yet a few more days passed on. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

RICHARD HARE AT MR. DILL'S WINDOW. 

Bright was the moon on that genial Monday night ; bright were the 
evening stars as they shone upon a solitary wayfarer who walked on 
the shady side of the road, with his head down, as though he cared 
not to court observation. A labourer apparently, for he wore a smock 
frock and hobnailed shoes ; but his whiskers were large and black, 
hiding the lower part of his face, and his broad-brimmed "wide-awake" 
came far over his brows. He drew near the dwelling of Justice Hare, 
plunged rapidly over some palings (after looking well to the right and 
left) into a field, and thence over the side wall into Mr. Hare's garden, 
where he remained amidst the trees. 

Now, by some mischievous spirit of intuition or contrariety, Justice 
Hare was spending this evening at home, a thing which did not happen 
once in six months, unless he had friends with him. Barbara, anxious, 
troubled, worn out with the suspense of watching for her brother, would 
have given her head for her father to go out. But no : there sat the 
stern justice in full view of the garden and the grove, his chair drawn 
precisely in front of the window, his wig awry, and a long pipe in his 
mouth. 

"Are vou not going out, Richard .' " Mrs. Hare ventured to say. 

" No."' 

" Mamma, shall I ring for the shutters to be closed ?" asked Barbara, 
by-and-by. 

" Shutters closed ! " said the justice. " Who'd shut out this bright 
moon .? You have the lamp at the far end of the room, young lady, 
and can go to it." 

Barbara ejaculated an inward prayer for patience— for safety for 
Richard, if he did come, and waited on, watching the grove in the 
distance. The signal came ; her quJtk eye caught it ; a movement 
as if some person or thing had stepped out beyond the trees and 
stepped back again. Barbara's face turned white and her lips dry. 



196 EAST LYNNE. 

" I am so hot I " she ejaculated, in her confused eagerness for an 
excuse. " I must take a turn in the garden." 

She stole out, throwing a dark shawl over her shoulders, that it 
might render her less conspicuous to the justice ; and her dress that 
evening was a dark silk. She did not dare to stand still when she 
reached the trees, or to penetrate them, but she caught glimpses of 
Richard's face, and her heart ached at the change in it. It was white, 
♦;hin, and full of care ; and his hair, he told her, was turning grey. 

" Oh, Richard, darling, I may not stop and talk to you ! " she wailed, 
,1 a deep whisper. " Papa is at home, you see, of all nights in the year." 

" Can't I see my mother } " 

" How can you ? You must wait until to-morrow night." 

" I don't like waiting a second night, Barbara. There's danger in 
eveiy inch of ground this neighbourhood contains." 

" But you must wait, Richard ; for other reasons. That man who 
caused all the mischief, Thorn " 

" Hang him ! " gloomily interrupted Richard. 

"Is at West Lynne. At least, there is a Thorn here whom we, I 
and I^Ir. Carlvle, believe to be the same, and we want you to see 
him." 

" Let me see him," panted Richard, whom the news appeared to 
agitate. " Let me see him ! Barbara — -I say " 

Barbara had passed on again, returning presently. " You know, 
Richard, I must keep moving, with papa's eyes there. He is a tall 
man, very good-looking, very fond of dress and ornaments, especially 
of diamonds." 

" That's he," cried Richard, eagerly. 

" Mr. Carlyle will contrive that you shall see him," she continued, 
stooping as if to tie her shoe. " Should it prove to be the same, 
perhaps nothing can be immediately done towards clearing you, but 
it will be a great point ascertained. Are you sure you should know 
him again ? " 

"Sure that I should know ///;«/" uttered Richard Hare. "Should 
I know my own father ? Should I know you ? And you are not engraven 
on my heart in letters of blood, as he is. How and when am I to sec 
him, liarbara .'' " 

" I can tell you nothing until I have consulted Mr. Carlyle. Be here 
to-morrow as soon as ever the dusk will permit you : perhaps Mr. 
Carlyle will contrive to bring him here. If " 

The window was thrown open, and the stentorian voice of Justice 
Hare was heard from it. 

" Barbara, arc you wandering about there to take cold ? Come in; 
Come in, I say." 

" Oh, Richard, I am so sorry ! " she lingered to whisper. " But papa 
is sure to be out to-morrow might : he would not stay in two evenings 
running. Good night, dear.-" 

There must be no delay now, and the next day Barbara, braving com- 
ments, appeared once more at the oflice of Mr. Carlyle. Terribly did 
the rules of contrary seem in action just then : Mr. Carlyle was not in, 
and the ckrks did not kuow when to expect him : he had gone out for 
*iome hours, they believed. 



RICHARD HARE AT MR. DILL'S WINDOW. 197 

" Mr. Dill," urged Barbara, as the old gentleman came to the door to 
greet her, " I 7mist see him." 

" He will not be in till late in the afternoon, Miss Barbara. I expect 
him then. Is it anything I can do for you ? " 

" No, no," sighed Barbara. 

At that moment Lady Isabel and her little girl passed in the chariot. 
She saw Barbara at her husband's door ; what should she be doing 
there, unless paying him a visit ? A slight, haughty bow to Barbara, 
a pleasant nod and smile to Mr. Dill, and the carriage bowled on. 

It was four o'clock before Barbara could see Mr. Carlyle. She com- 
municated her tidings, that Richard had arrived. 

Mr. Carlyle held deceit and all underhand doings in especial 
abhorrence : yet he deemed that he was acting right, under the circum- 
stances, in allowing Captain Thorn to be secretly seen by Richard 
Hare. In haste he arranged his plans. It was the evening of his own 
dinner engagement at Mrs. Jcafferson's ; but that he must give up. 
Telling Barbara to despatch Richard to his office as soon as he should 
make his appearance in the grove, and to urge him to come boldly, for 
that none would know him in his disguise, he wrote a hurried note to 
Thorn, requesting him also to be at his office at eight o'clock that 
evening, as he had something to communicate to him. The latter plea 
was no fiction, for he had received an important communication that 
morning relative to the business on which Captain Thorn had consulted 
him, and his own absence from the office had alone prevented his 
sending for him earlier. 

Other matters were demanding the attention of Mr. Carlyle, and it 
was five o'clock ere he departed for East Lynne : he would not have 
gone so early, but that he must inform his wife of his inability to keep 
his dinner engagement. Mr. Carlyle was one who never hesitated to 
sacrifice personal gratification to friendship or to business. 

The chariot was at the door, and Lady Isabel was dressed and wait- 
ing for him in her dressing-room. " Did you forget that the Jeaffersons 
dine at six ? " was her greeting. 

'' No, Isabel ; but it was impossible for me to get here before. And 
I should not have come so soon, but to tell you that I cannot accom- 
pany you. You must make my excuses to Mrs. Jeaffcrson." 

A pause. Strange thoughts were running through Lady Isabel's 
mind. '' W' hy so : " she inquired. 

" Some business has arisen which I am compelled to attend to this 
evening. As soon as I have snatched my dinner at home, I must 
hasten back to the office." 

Was he making this excuse to spend the hours of her absence with 
Barbara Hare? The idea that it was so took firm possession of her 
mind, and remained there. Her face expressed a variety of feelings, 
the most prominent that of resentment. Mr. Cailyle saw it. 

"You must not be vexed, Isabel. I assure you it is no fault of 
mine. It is important private business which cannot be put oft", and 
which I cannot delegate to Dill. I am sorry it should so have 
happened." 

"You never return to the office in an evening," she remarked, with 
pale lips. 



198 EAST LYNNE. 

" No : because, if anything arises to take us there after hours, Dill 
officiates. But the business to-night must be done by myself." 

Another pause. Lad> Isabel suddenly broke it. " Shall you join us 
later in the evening ? " 

" I believe I shall not be able to do so." 

She drew her light shawl round her shoulders, and swept down the 
staircase. Mr. Carlyle followed, to place her in the carriage. When 
he said farewell she never answered, but looked straight out before her 
with a stony look. 

" What time, my lady ? " inquired the footman, as she alighted at 
Mrs. Jeafterson's. 

" Early. Half-past nine." 

A little before eight o'clock, Richard Hare, in his smock frock, his 
slouching hat, and his false whiskers, rang dubiously at the outer door 
of Mr. Carlyle's office. That gentleman instantly opened it. He was 
quite alone. 

" Come in, Richard," said he, grasping his hand. " Did you meet 
many whom you knew ? " 

" I never looked whom I met, sir," was the reply. " I thought if I 
looked at people, they might look at me, so I came straight ahead with 
my eyes before me. How the place is altered ! There's a new brick 
house at the corner where old Morgan's shop used to be." 

" That's the new police station : West Lynne, I assure you, is be- 
coming grand in public buildings. And how have you been, Richard ? " 

"Ailing and wretched," answered Richard Hare. " How can I be 
otherwise, Mr. Carlyle, with so false an accusation attaching to me ; 
and working like a slave, as I have to do ? " 

" You may take off that disfiguring hat, Richard. No one is here." 

Richard slowly lifted it from his brows, and his fair face, so like his 
mother's, was disclosed. But the moment he was uncovered, he 
turned shrinkingly towards the door. "If any one should come in, 
sir ! " 

" Impossible," replied Mr. Carlyle. " The front door is fast, and the 
o{[\ce is supposed to be empty at this hour." 

" For, if 1 should be seen and recognized, it might come to hanging, 
you know, sir. You arc expecting that accursed Thorn here, Barbara 
told me." 

" Directly," replied Mr. Carlyle, observing the mode of addressing 
liim : " sir." It told plainly of the scale of society in which Richard 
must be mixing : that he was with those who said it habitually ; that 
he used it habitually himself. "From your description of the Lieu- 
tenant Thorn who destroyed Hallijohn, we believe this Captain Thorn 
to be the same man," pursued Mr. Carlyle. " In person he appears to 
tally exactly ; and I have ascertained that some years ago he was a 
great '';"al at Swainson, and fell into some sort of scrape. He is in 
John Herbert's regiment, and is here with him on a visit." 

" I5ut what an idiot he must be to venture here ! " uttered Richard. 
" Here, of all places in the world." 

" He counts, no doubt, uj)on not being known. So far as I can find 
out, Richard, no one here knew him, except you and Afy. I shall put 
you in Mr. Dill's room —you may remember the little window in it— 



RICHARD HARE AT MR. DILL'S WINDOW. 199 

and from thence you can lake full view of Thorn, whom I shall keep 
in the front office. " You are sure you would recognize him, at this 
distance of lime ?" 

" I should know him if it were fifty years to come ; I should know 
him if he were disguised as I am disguised. We cannot," Richard 
sank his voice, " forget a man who has been the object of our frenzied 
jealousy." 

" What has brought you to West Lynne again, Richard ? Any 
particular object ? " 

" Chiefly a hankering within me that I could not get rid ot," repHed 
Richard. "It was not so much to see my mother and Barbara— 
though I have longed to see them since my illness— but a feeling was 
within me that I could not rest away from it. So I said I'd risk it 
again just for a day." 

" I thought you might possibly want some assistance, as before." 

'' I do want that also," said Richard. " Not much. My illness has 
run me into debt, and if my mother can let me have a little I shall be 
thankful." 

" I am sure she will," answered Mr. Carlyle. " You shall have it 
from me to-night. What has been the matter with you ? " 

" The beginning of it was a kick from a horse, sir. That was last 
winter, and it laid me up for six weeks. Then, in the spring, after I 
had got well and was at work again, I caught some sort of fever, and 
down again I was for six weeks. I have not been to say well since." 

" How is it you have never written, or sent me your address ? " 

" Because I dare not," answered Richard, timorously. " I should 
always be in fear ; not of you, Mr. Carlyle, but of its becoming known 
in some way or other. The time is getting on, sir : is that Thorn sure 
to come ? " 

"He sent me word that he would, in reply to my note. And — there 
he is ! " said Mr. Carlyle, as a ring was heard at the bell. " Now, 
Richard, come this way. Bring your hat." 

Richard complied by putting the hat on his head, pulling it so low 
down that it almost touched his nose. He felt himself safer in it. Mr. 
Carlyle showed him into Mr. Dill's room, and then turned the key 
upon him, and put it into his pocket. Whether this precautionary 
measure was intended to prevent any possibility of Captain Thorn's 
finding his way in, or of Richard finding his way out, was best known 
to himself. 

Mr. Carlyle went to the front door, opened it, and admitted Captain 
Thorn. He brought him into the clerks' office, which was bright with 
gas. keeping him in conversation for a few minutes standing, and then 
asking him to be seated : all in full view of the little window. 

" I must beg )our pardon for being late," Captain Thorn observed. 
" I am half an hour beyond the time you mentioned, but the Herberts 
had two or three friends at dinner, and I could not get away. I hope, 
Mr. Carlyle, you have not come to your office to-night purposely 
for me." 

" Business must be attended to," somewhat evasively answered 
Mr. Carlyle : " I have been out myself nearly all day. We rccei\ed 
a communication from London this morning relative to your affair, 



200 EAST LYNNE. 

and I am sorry to say it is anything but satisfactory. They will not 
wait." 

" But I am not liable, Mr. Carlyle. Not liable in justice." 

" No — if what you tell me be correct. But justice and law are some- 
times opposed to each other, Captain Thorn." 

Captain Thorn sat in perplexity. " They will not have me arrested 
here, will they ? " 

" They would have done it, beyond doubt ; but I have caused a 
letter to be written and despatched to them, which must bring forth 
an answer before any violent proceedings are taken. That answer will 
be here the morning after to-morrow." 

" And what am I to do then ? " 

" I think it probable there may be a way then of checkmating them. 
But I am not sure, Captain Thorn, that I can give my attention further 
to this affair." 

" I hope and trust you will," was the reply. 

" You have not forgotten that I told you, at first, I could not promise 
to do so," rejoined Mr. Carlyle. " You shall hear from me to-morrow. 
If I carry it on for you, I will then appoint an hour for you to be here 
the following day : if not — why, I dare say you will find a solicitor as 
capable of assisting you as I am." 

" But why will you not ? What is your reason ? " 

" I cannot always give reasons for what I do," was the response. 
" You shall hear from me to-morrow." 

He rose as he spoke ; Captain Thorn also rose. Mr. Carlyle 
detained him yet a few moments, and then saw him out at the front 
door and fastened it. 

He returned and released Richard. The latter took off his hat as he 
advanced into the blaze of light. 

" Well, Richard, is it the same man ? " 

" No, sir. Nor in the least like h'm." 

Mr. Carlyle felt a strange relief ; relief for Captain Thorn's sake. 
He had rarely seen one whom he could so little associate with the 
notion of a murderer as Captain Thorn, and he was a man who 
exceedingly won upon his regard. He could heartily help him out of 
his dilemma now. 

" Excepting that they are both tall, with nearly the same coloured 
hair, there is no resemblance whatever between them," proceeded 
Richard. " Their faces, their figures are as opposite as light is from 
dark. That other, in spite of his handsome features, has the expres- 
sion at times of a demon ; but the expression of this one is the best part 
of his face. Hallijohn's murderer had a curious look here, sir." 

" Where? " questioned Mr. Carlyle, for Richard had only pointed to 
his face generally. 

" Well — I cannot say precisely where it lay, whether in the eyebrows 
or the eyes : I could not tell when I used to have him before me ; but 
it was in one of them. Ah, Mr. Carlyle, I thought when Barbara told 
me Thorn was here, it was loo good news to be true ; depend upon it 
he won't venture to West Lynne again. This man is no more like that 
other viliain than you arc like him." 

"Then — as tlmt i^ set at rest -we had better be going, Richard. 



RICHARD HARE AT MR. DILL'S WINDOW. 201 

You have to sec your mother, and she must be waiting in anxiety. 
How much money do you want ? " 

" Twenty-five pounds would do, but " Richard stopped in hesi- 
tation. 

" But what ? " asked Mr. Carlyle. " Speak out, Richard." 

" Thirty would be more welcome. Thirty would put me at ease." 

" You shall have thirty," said Mr. Carlyle, counting over the notes to 
him. " Now — will you walk with me to the grove, or will you walk 
alone ? I mean to see you there in safety." 

Richard thought he would prefer to walk alone : every one they met 
might be speaking to Mr. Carlyle. The latter inquired why he chose 
moonlight nights for his visits. 

" It is pleasanter for night travelling. And, had I chosen dark 
nights, Barbara could not have seen my signal from the trees," was 
Richard's answer. 

They went out, and proceeded unmolested to the house of Justice 
Hare. It was past nine then. " I am so much obliged to you, Mr. 
Carlyle," whispered Richard, as they walked up the path. 

" I wish I could help you more effectually, Richard, and clear up the 
mystery. Is Barbara on the watch ? Yes; the door is slowly opening." 

Richard stole across the hall and into the parlour to his mother. 
Barbara approached and softly whispered to Mr. Carlyle, standing just 
outside the portico : her voice trembled with the suspense of what the 
answer might be. 

"Is it the same man ? The same Thorn ? " 

" No. Richard says this man bears no resemblance to the real one." 

" Oh ! " uttered Barbara, in her surprise and disappointment. " Not 
the same ! and for the best part of poor Richard's evening to have 
been taken up for nothing." 

"Not quite for nothing," said Mr. Carlyle. "The question is now 
set at rest." 

"Set at rest ! " repeated Barbara. "It is left in more uncertainty 
than ever." 

" Set at rest as regards Captain Thorn. And whilst our suspicions 
were concentrated upon him, we did not look to other quarters." 

When they entered the sitting-room, Mrs. Hare was crying over 
Richard, and Richard was cr)dng over her : but she seized Mr. Carlyle's 
hand. 

" You have been very kind : I don't know what we should do with- 
out you. And I want to tax your kindness yet further. Has Barbara 
mentioned it ? " 

" I could not talk in the hall, mamma : the servants might have 
overheard." 

" Mr. Hare is not well, and we terribly fear he will be home early in 
consequence : otherwise we should have been quite safe until ten, for 
he is gone to the Buck's Head, and thpy never leave, you know, till 
that hour has struck. Should he come in and see Richard — the very 
thought sends me into a fever — Barbara and I have been discussing 
it all the evening, and we can only think of one plan. It is, that you 
will kindly stay in the garden near the gate ; and, should he come in, 
stop him and keep him in conversation. Barbara will be with you, 



202 EAST LYNNE. 

and will run in with the warning, and Richard can go inside the closet 
in the hall, till Mr. Hare has entered and is safe in this room, and then 
he can make his escape. Will you do this, Archibald ? " 

" Certainly I will." 

" I cannot part with him before ten o'clock, unless I am obliged to 
do so," she whispered, pressing Mr. Carlyle's hands in her earnest 
gratitude. " You don't know what it is, Archibald, to have a lost son 
home for an hour but once in seven years. At ten o'clock we will 
part." 

Mr. Carlyle and Barbara began to pace the path, in compliance 
with the wishes of Mrs. Hare, keeping near the entrance gate. When 
they were turning the second time, Mr. Carlyle offered her his arm : it 
was an act of mere politeness. Barbara took it ; and there they waited 
and waited, but the justice did not come. 

Punctually to the minute, half after nine. Lady Isabel's carriage 
arrived at Mrs. Jeafferson's, and she came out immediately, a headache 
being the plea for her early departure. She had not far to go to reach 
East Lynne : only about two miles ; it was a by-road nearly all the 
way. They could emerge into the open road if they pleased, but it 
was a little further. Suddenly a gentleman approached the carriage 
as it was bowling along, and waved his hand to the coachman to pull 
up. In spite of the moonlight. Lady Isabel did not at first recognize 
him, for he wore a disfiguring fur cap, the ears of which were tied 
over his ears and cheeks. It was Francis Levison. She put down 
the window. 

" I thought it must be your carriage. How early you are returning ! 
Were you tired of your entertainers ? " 

" Why, he knew what time my lady was returning," thought John to 
himself; "he asked me. A false sort of chap, that, I've a notion." 

" I came out for a stroll, and have tired myself," he proceeded. 
" Will you take compassion on me and give me a seat home ? " 

She acquiesced ; she could not well do otherwise. The footman 
sprang from behind, to open the door, and Francis Levison took his 
place beside Lady Isabel. " Take the high road," he put out his head 
to say to the coachman, and the man touched his hat. The high road 
would cause them to pass Mr. Hare's. 

" I did not know you," she began, gathering herself into her own 
corner. " What ugly thing is that you have on.'' It is like a disguise." 

He was taking off the " ugly thing " as she spoke, and began to twirl 
it round on his hand. " Disguise? Oh no ; I have no creditors in the 
immediate neighbourhood of East Lynne." 

False as ever. It was worn as a disguise, and he knew it. 

" Is Mr. Carlyle at home?" she inquired. 

" No." Then after a pause — " I expect he is more agreeably engaged." 

The tone brought the tingling blood to the checks of Lady Isabel. 
.'She wished to preserve a dignified silence ; and did so for a few 
moments : but the jealous question broke out. 

" Engaged in what manner ? " 

" As I came by Hares' house just now, I saw two people, a gentleman 
and a young lady, coupled lovingly together, enjoying a tctc-^-tcte by 
moonlight. They were your husband and Miss Hare." 



NEVER TO BE REDEEMED. 203 

Lady Isabel almost gnashed her teeth : the jealous doubts which had 
been tormenting her all the evening were confirmed. That the man 
whom she hated — yes, in her blind anger, she hated him then — should 
so impose upon her, should excuse himself by lies, lies base and false, 
from accompanying her, on purpose to pass the hours with Barbara 
Hare ! Had she been alone in the carriage, a torrent of passion had 
probably escaped her. 

She leaned back, panting in her emotion, but concealed it from 
Captain Levison. As they came opposite to Justice Hare's, she 
deliberately bent forward, and scanned the garden with eager eyes. 

There, in the bright moonlight, all too bright and clear, slowly paced, 
arm in arm, drawn close to each other, her husband and Barbara. 
With a choking sob, that could no longer be controlled or hidden. 
Lady Isabel sank back again. 

He, that bold bad man, dared to put his arm round her ; to draw 
her to his side ; to whisper that his love was left her, if another's was 
withdrawn. 

She was most assuredly out of her senses that night, or she never 
would have listened. 

A jealous woman is mad ; an outraged woman is doubly mad ; and 
the ill-fated Lady Isabel truly believed that eveiy sacred feeling which 
ought to exist between man and wife, was betrayed by Mr. Carlyle. 

'' Be avenged on that false hound, Isabel. He was never worthy of 
you. Leave your life of misery, and come to happiness." 

In her bitter distress and wrath, she broke into a storm of sobs. 
Were they caused by passion against her husband, or by these bold and 
shameless words ! Alas ! alas ! Francis Levison applied himself to 
soothe her with all the sweet and dangerous sophistry of his crafty 
nature. 



CHAPTER IX. 

NEVER TO BE REDEEMED. 



The minutfs flew on. A quarter to ten ; ten ; a cjuartcr past ten ; and 
still Richard Hare lingered on with his mother, and still Mr. Carlyle 
and Barbara paced patiently the garden path. At half-past ten Richard 
came forth, having taken his last farewell. Then came Barbara's tear- 
ful farewell, which Mr. Carlyle witnessed ; then a hard grasp of that 
gentleman's hand, and Richard plunged into the trees, to depart the way 
he had come. 

" Good night, Barbara," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" Will you not come in, and say good night to mamma ? " 

" Not now ; it is late. Tell her how glad I am things have gone off 
so well." 

He set off at a rapid pace towards his home, and Barbara leaned on 
tlie gate to indulge her tears. Not a soul passed to interrupt her, and the 
justice did not return. What could have become of him? What could 
the Buck's Head be thinking of, to detain respectable elderly justices 
from their beds, who ought to go home early and set a good example to 



204 EAST LYNNE. 

the parish ? Barbara knew, the next day, that Justice Hare, with a few 
more gentlemen, had been seduced from the staid old inn to a friend's 
house, to an entertainment of supper, pipes, and whist, two tables, six- 
penny points, and it was between twelve and one ere the party rose from 
the fascination. So far, well — as it happened. 

Barbara knew not how long she lingered at the gate ; ten minutes it 
may have been. No one summoned her ; Mrs. Hare was indulging her 
grief indoors, giving no thought to Barbara, and the justice did not 
make his appearance. Exceedingly surprised was Barbara to hear fast 
footsteps, and to find that they were Mr. Carlyle's. 

" The more haste, the less speed, Barbara," he called out as he came 
up. " I had reached half way home, and have had to return again. 
When I went into your sitting-room, I left a small parcel, containing a 
parchment, on the sideboard. Will you find it for me ? " 

Barbara ran indoors and brought forth the parcel ; and Mr. Carlyle, 
with a brief word of thanks, sped away with it. 

She leaned on the gate as before, the ready tears flowing again. Her 
heart was aching for Richard : it was aching for the disappointment 
the night had brought forth respecting Captain Thorn. Still no one 
passed ; still the steps of her father were not heard, and Barbara stayed 
on. But — what was that figure cowering under shadow of the hedge at 
a distance, and apparently watching her ? Barbara strained her eyes, 
while her heart beat as if it would burst its bounds. Surely, surely, it 
was her brother ! Why had he ventured there again ? 

It was Richard Hare. When fully assured that Barbara was standing 
there, he knew the justice must be still absent, and ventured to advance. 
He appeared to be in a strange state of emotion, his breath laboured, 
his whole frame trembling. 
: " Barbara ! Barbara ! " he ejaculated, " I have seen Thorn." 

Barbara thought him demented. " I know you saw him," she slowly 
said ; " but it was not the right Thorn." 

" Not he," breathed Richard : " not the man I saw to-night in 
Carlyle's office. I have seen the fellow himself. Why do you stare so 
at me, Barbara ? " 

Barbara was in truth scanning his face keenly. It appeared to her 
a strange tale that he was telling. 

" When I left here, I cut across into Bean-lane, which is more 
private for me than this road," proceeded Richard. " Just as I reached 
that clump of trees — you know it, Barbara — I saw somebody coming 
towards me, from a distance. I stepped back behind the trees, into 
the shade of the hedge, for I don't care to be seen, though I am dis- 
guised. He came along the middle of the lane, going towards West 
Lynne, and I looked out upon him. I knew him long before he came 
up : it was Thorn." 

Barbara made no comment : she was digesting the news. 

" Every drop of blood within me began to tingle, and an impulse 
came upon me to spring upon him and accuse him of the murder of 
Hallijohn," went on Richard, in the same excited manner. " But I 
restrained it : or, perhaps, my courage failed. One of the reproaches 
.igainst me used to be that I was a physical coward, you know, 
Barbara," he added, his tone changing to bitterness. " In a struggle 



NEVER TO BE REDEEMED. 20$ 

Thorn would have had the best of it : he is taller and more powerful, 
than I, and might have battered me to death. A man who can commit 
one murder, won't hesitate at a second." 

" Richard, do you think you could have been deceived ? " she urged. 
" You have been talking of Thorn, and your thoughts were, naturally, 
bearing upon him. Imagination " 

" Be still, Barbara ! " he interrupted, in a tone of pain. " Imagina- 
tion, indeed ! Did I not tell you he was stamped here?" touching his 
breast. " Do you take me for a child, or an imbecile, that I should 
fancy I see Thorn in every shadow, or meet people where I do not ? 
He had his hat off as if he had been walking fast and was hot — he was 
walking fast, and he carried the hat in one hand, and what looked like 
a small parcel. With the other hand he was pushing his hair from his 
brow — in this way ; a peculiar way," added Richard, slightly lifting his 
own hat, and pushing back his hair. " By that action alone I should 
have known him, for he was always doing it in the old days. And 
there was his white hand, adorned with his diamond ring, Barbara, 
and the diamond ghttered in the moonlight." 

Richard's voice and manner were singularly earnest, and a convic- 
tion of the truth of his assertion flashed upon his sister. 

'• I saw his face as plainly as I ever saw it ; every feature : he is 
scarcely altered, except for a haggardness in his checks now. Barbara, 
you need not doubt me ; I swear it was Thorn." 

She grew excited as he was. Now that she believed the news, it was 
telling upon her : reason left its place, and impulse succeeded. Barbara 
did not wait to weigh her actions. 

" Richard, Mr. Carlyle ought to know this. He has only just gone ; 
we may overtake him if we try." 

Forgetting the strange appearance it would have, at that hour of 
the night, should she meet any one who knew her, forgetting what 
the consequences might be, should Justice Hare return and find her 
absent, Barbara set off with a fleet foot, Richard more stealthily 
following her, his eyes cast in all directions. Fortunately Barbara 
wore a bonnet and mantle, which she had put on to pace the garden 
with Mr. Carlyle ; fortunately also, they met no one. She succeeded 
in reaching Mr. Carlyle before he turned into the East Lynne gates. 

'' Barbara ! " he exclaimed, in the extreme of astonishment. " Bar- 
bara ! " 

'• .Archibald ! Archibald ! " she panted, gasping for breath. " I am 
not out of my mind ; but do come and speak to Richard ! He has 
just seen the real Thorn." 

Mr. Carlyle, amazed and wondering, turned back. They passed 
over the stile nearly opposite the gates, drew behind the hedge, and 
there Richard told his tale. Mr. Carlyle did not appear to doubt it, as 
Barbara had done : perhaps he could not do so, in the face of Richard's 
agitated and intense earnestness. 

'' I am sure there is no one named Thorn in the neighbourhood, 
except the gentleman you saw in my office to-night, Richard," observed 
Mr. Carlyle, after some deliberation. " It is very strange." 

" He may be staying here under a feigned name," replied Richard. 
" There can be no mistake that it is Thorn whom I have just met." 



2o6 EAST LYNNE. 

" How was he dressed ? As a gentleman ? " 

" Catch him dressing as anything else," returned Richard. " He 
was in an evening suit, with a sort of thin overcoat thrown on, but it 
was flung back from the shoulders, and I distinctly saw his clothes. As 
I have told Barbara, I should have known him by this action of the 
hand," imitating it, " as he pushed his hair off his forehead : it was the 
delicate white hand of the days gone by, Mr. Carlyle, and the flashing 
diamond ring." 

Mr. Carlyle was silent ; Barbara also ; but the thoughts of both 
were busy. " Richard," observed the former, " I should advise you 
to remain a day or two in the neighbourhood, and look out for this 
man. You may see him again, and may track him home ; it is very 
desirable to find out who he really is, if it can be done." 

" But the danger ? " urged Richard. 

" Your fears magnify that. I am quite certain that no one would 
know you in broad daylight, disguised as you are now. So many 
years have flown since, that people have forgotten to think about you, 
Richard." 

But Richard could not be persuaded ; he was full of fears. He 
described the man as accurately as he could to Mr. Carlyle and Barbara, 
and told them they must look out. With some trouble Mr. Carlyle 
drew from him an address in London to which he might write, in case 
anything turned up, and Richard's presence should be needed. He 
then once more said farewell, and quitted them, his way lying past 
East Lynne. 

" And now to see you home again, Barbara," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" Indeed you shall not do it, late as it is, and tired as you must be. 
I came here alone : Richard did not keep near me." 

" I cannot help your having come here alone, but you may rely upon 
it I do not suffer you to go back so. Nonsense, Barbara ! Allow you 
to go along the high road by yourself at eleven o'clock at night ! 
What are you thinking of?" 

He gave Barbara his arm, and they pursued their way. " How late 
Lady Isabel w-ill think you ! " observed Barbara. 

" I do not know that Lady Isabel has yet returned home. My being 
late once in a way is of no consequence." 

Not another word was spoken, except by Barbara. " What excuse 
can I make, should papa be at home again?" Both were buried in 
their own reflections. " Thank you very greatly," she said as they 
reached the gate, and Mr. Carlyle finally turned away. Barbara stole 
in, and found the coast clear : her father had not arrived. 

Lady Isabel was in her dressing-room when Mr. Carlyle entered ; 
she was seated at a table, writing. A few questions as to her evening's 
visit, which she answered in the briefest manner possible, and ihc.n he 
asked her if she was not going to bed. 

" By-and-by. I am not sleepy." 

" I must go at ©nee, Isabel, for I am dead tired." 

" You can go," was her answer. 

He bent down to kiss her, but she dexterously turned her face away. 
He supposed she felt hurt that he had not gone with her to the party, 
and placed his hand on her shoulder with a pleasant smile. 



NEVER TO BE REDEEMED. 207 

"You foolish child to he aggrieved at that ! It was no fault of mine, 
Isabel : I could not help myself. I will talk to you in the morning : 
I am too tired to-night. I suppose you will not be long." 

Her head was bent over her writing again, and she made no reply. 
Mr. Carlyle went into the bedroom and closed the door. Some time 
after. Lady Isabel went softly upstairs to Joyce's room. Joyce, in her 
first sleep, was suddenly aroused from it. There stood her mistress, 
a waxlight in her hand. Joyce rubbed her eyes and collected her 
senses, and finally sat up in bed. 

" My lady ! Arc you ill ? " 

"111.' Yes; and wretched," answered Lady Isabel: and ill she 
looked, for she was perfectly white. " Joyce, I want a promise from 
you. If anything should happen to me, remain at East Lynne \\ith 
my children." 

Joyce stared in amazement, too astonished to make any reply. 

"Joyce, you promised it once before : promise it again. Whatever 
betide, you will remain with my children when I am gone." 

" I will stay with them. But, oh, my lady, what can be the matter 
with you .'' Are you taken suddenly ill ? " 

" Good-bye, Joyce," murmured Lady Isabel, gliding from the cham- 
ber as softly as she had entered it. And Joyce, after an hour of per- 
plexity, dropped asleep again. 

Joyce was not the only one whose rest was disturbed that eventful 
night. Mr. Carlyle himself awoke, and to his surprise found that his 
wife had not come to bed. He wondered what the time was, and 
struck his repeater. A quarter-past three ! 

Rising, he made his way to the door of his wife's dressing-room. It 
was in darkness ; and so far as he could judge by absence of sound, 
unoccupied. 

" Isabel." 

No reply. Nothing but the echo of his own voice in the silence of 
the night. 

He struck a match and lighted a taper, partially dressed himself, 
and went out to look for her. He feared she might have been taken 
ill : or else that she had fallen asleep in one of the rooms. But no- 
where could he find her, and, feeling perplexed, he proceeded to his 
sister's chamber door and knocked. 

Miss Carlyle was a light sleeper, and rose up in bed at once. 
" Who's that ? " called oul she. 

" It is only I, Corneha," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" You ; " ejaculated Miss Corny. " What in the name of fortune do 
you want ? You can come in." 

Mr. Carlyle opened the door, and met the keen eyes of his sister, 
bent on him from the bed. Her head was surmounted by a remarkable 
nightcap, at least a foot high. 

" Is any one ill ? " she demanded. 

** I think Isabel must be. I cannot find her." 

" Not find her ! " echoed Miss Corny. " Why, what's the time ? Is 
she not in bed ? " 

" It is three o'clock. She has not been to bed. I cannot find her 
m the sitting-rooms ; neither is she in the children's room." 



2o8 EAST LYNNE. 

" Then I'll tell you what it is, Archibald ; she's gone worrying after 
Joyce. Perhaps the girl may be in pain to-night." 

Mr. Carlyle was in full retreat towards Joyce's room, at this sug- 
gestion, when his sister called to him. 

" If anything is wrong with Joyce, come and tell me, Archibald, for 
I shall get up and see after her. The girl was my servant before she 
was your wife's." 

He reached Joyce's room and softly unlatched the door, fully ex- 
pecting to find a light there, and his wife sitting by the bedside. There 
was no light, however, except that which came from the taper he held, 
and he saw no signs of his wife. Where was she ? Was it probable 
that Joyce could tell him ? He stepped into the room and called to her. 
Joyce started up in a fright, which changed to astonishment when 
she recognized her master. He inquired whether Lady Isabel had 
been there, and for a few moments Joyce did not answer. She had 
been dreaming of Lady Isabel, and could not at first detach the dream 
from the visit which had probably given rise to it. 
" What did you say, sir ? Is my lady worse ? " 
" I ask if she has been here. I cannot find her." 
" Why, yes," said Joyce, now fully aroused. " She came here and 
woke me. That was just before twelve, for I heard the clock strike. 
She did not stay here a minute, sir." 

" Woke you ! " repeated Mr. Carlyle. " What did she want ? what 
did she come here for ? " 

Thoughts are quick ; imagination is quicker ; and Joyce was giving 
the reins to both. Her mistress's gloomy and ambiguous words were 
crowding on her brain. Three o'clock ! and she had not been in bed, 
and was not to be found in the house ! A nameless horror struggled 
to Joyce's face, her eyes were dilating with it : she seized and threw 
on a large flannel gown which lay on a chair by the bed, and forgetful 
of her ailing foot, forgetful of her master who stood there, out she 
sprang to the floor. All minor considerations faded to insignificance 
beside the terrible dread which had taken possession of her. Clasping 
the flannel gown tightly round her with one hand, she laid the other 
on the arm of Mr. Carlyle. 
" Oh, master, master ! she has destroyed herself! I see it all now." 
"Joyce ! " sternly interrupted Mr. Carlyle. 

" She has destroyed herself, sir, as true as that we two are hving 
here ! " persisted Joyce, her own face livid with emotion. " I can 
understand her words now ; I could not before. She came here — and 
her face was like a corpse as the light fell upon it — saying she had 
come to get a promise from me to stay with her children when she 
was gone. I asked whether she was ill, and she answered, ' Yes, 
ill and wretched.' Oh, sir, may Heaven support you under this 
dreadful trial ! " 

Mr. Carlyle felt bewildered ; perplexed. Not a syllable did he 
believe of this. He was not angry with Joyce, for he thought she had 
lost her reason. 

" It is 5o, sir, incredible as you may deem my words," pursued Joyce, 
wringing her hands. "My lady has been miserably unhappy : and 
that has driven her to it." 



NEVER TO BE REDEEMED. 209 

"Joyce, are you in your senses or out of them?" demanded Mr. 
Carlyle, a certain sternness in his tone. " Your lady miserably un- 
happy I what do you mean by such an assertion ? " 

Before Joyce could answer, an addition was received to the com- 
pany in the person of Miss Carlyle, who appeared in black stockings 
and a shawl, and the lofty nightcap. Hearing voices in Joyce's room, 
which was above her own, and full of curiosity, she ascended, not 
choosing to be shut out from the conference. 

" VVhatever's up ? " cried she. " Is Lady Isabel found ? " 

" She is not found, and she never will be found but in her winding- 
sheet," returned Joyce, whose lamentable and unusual state of excite- 
ment completely overpowered her customary quiet respect and plain 
good sense. " And, ma'am, I am glad that you have come up ; for 
what I was about to say to my master I would prefer to say in your 
presence. When my lady is brought into this house, and laid down 
ijefore us, dead, what will your feelings be? My master has done his 
duty by her in love ; but you — you have made her life a misery. Yes, 
ma'am, you have," 

" Highty tighty ! " uttered Miss Carlyle, staring at Joyce in conster- 
nation. " What is all this ? Where's my lady ? " 

'' She has gone and taken the life that was not hers to take," sobbed 
Joyce ; " and I say she has been driven to it. She has not been allowed 
to indulge a wUl of her own, poor thing, since she came to East Lynne : 
in her own house she has been less free than any one of her servants. 
You have curbed her, ma'am, and snapped at her, and made her 
feel that she was but a slave to your caprices and temper. All these 
years she has been crossed and put upon ; everything, in short, but 
beaten — ma'am, you know she has ! — and she has borne it all in 
silence, like a patient angel, never, as I believe, complaining to my 
master : he can say whether she has or not. We all loved her, we all 
felt for her, and my master's heart would have bled, had he suspected 
what she had to put up with day after day, and year after year." 

Miss Carlylc's tongue was glued to her mouth. Her brother, con- 
founded at the rapid words, could scarcely gather in their sense. 

" What IS that you are saying, Joyce ? " he asked, in a low tone. " I 
do not understand.'' 

" I have longed to say it to you many a hundred times, sir : but it is 
right that jou should hear it, now things have come to this dreadful 
ending. Since the very night Lady Isabel came home here, your 
wife, she has been taunted with the cost she has brought to East 
Lynne and to you. If she wanted but the simplest thing, she was for- 
bidden to have it, and told that she was bringing her husband to 
poverty. For this very dinner party that she went to to-night, she 
\\ished for a new dress, and your cruel words, ma'am, forbade her 
having it. She ordered a new frock for Miss Isabel, and you counter- 
manded it. You have told her that master worked like a dog to support 
her extravagances when you know that she never was extravagant : 
that none were less inchned to go beyond proper limits than she. I 
have seen her, ma'am, come away from your reproaches with the 
tears in her eyes, and her hands meekly clasped upon her bosom, as 
though hfe was heavy to bear A gentle-spirited, high-born lady, as 

East Lynue. 11 



2IO EAST LYNNE. 

she was, could not fail to be driven to desperation ; and I know that 
she has been." 

Mr. Carlyle turned to his sister. " Can this be true ? " he inquired, 
in a tone of deep agitation. 

She did not answer. Whether it was the shade cast by the nightcap 
or the reflection of the wax taper, her face looked grey and ghostly : 
and for the first time probably in Miss Carlyle's life, words failed her. 

" May God forgive you, Cornelia ! " he murmured, as he went out of 
the chamber. 

He descended to his own. That his wife had laid violent hands 
upon herself, his reason utterly repudiated : she was one of the least 
likely to commit so great a sin. He believed that, in her unhappiness, 
she might have wandered out in the grounds, and was lingering there. 
By this time the house was aroused, and the servants were astir. 
Joyce — surely a supernatural strength was given her, for though she 
had been able to put her foot to the ground, she had not yet walked 
upon it — crept downstairs, and went into Lady Isabel's dressing-room. 
Mr. Carlyle was hastily assuming the articles of attire he had not yet 
put on, to go out and search the grounds, when Joyce limped in, hold- 
ing out a note. Joyce did not stand on ceremony that night. 

" I found this in the dressing-glass drawer, sir. It is my lady's 
writing." 

He took it in his hand and looked at the address. " Archibald 
Carlyle." Though a calm man, one who had his emotions under his 
own control, he was no stoic, and his fingers shook as he broke the 
seal. 

" When years go on, and my children ask where their mother is, 
and why she left them, tell them that you, their father, goaded her 
to it. If they inquire what she is, tell them also, if so you will. Rut 
tell them at the same time that you outraged and betrayed her, driving 
her to the very depth of desperation, ere she quitted them in her 
despair." 

The handwriting, his wife's, swam before the eyes of Mr. Carlyle. 
All, except the disgraceful fact that she had flotV7i — and a horrible sus- 
picion began to dawn upon him with whom — was totally incomprehen- 
sible. How had he outraged her? in what manner had he goaded her 
to it "i The discomforts alluded to by Joyce, as the work of his sister, 
had evidently no part in this ; yet, what had he done ? He read the 
letter again, more slowly. No, he could not understand it : he had no 
clue to the mystery. 

At that moment the voices of the servants in the corridor outside 
penetrated to his ears : of course they were peering about, and making 
their own comments, Wilson, with her long tongue, the busiest. They 
were saying that Captain Levison was not in his room ; that his bed 
had not been slept in. 

Joyce sat on the edge of a chair — she could not stand — watching 
her master with his blanched face : never had she seen him betray 
agitation so powerful. Not the faintest suspicion of the dreadful truth 
had yet dawned upon her. He walked to the door, the open note in 
his hand, then tiu'ned, wavered, and stood still — as if he did not know 
what he was doing. Probably he did not. Then he took out his 



NEVER TO BE REDEEMED. 2ii 

pocket-book, put the nolo inside it, and returned it Id his pocket, his 
hands trcmbhng equally with his livid lips. 

•' You need not mention this," he said to Joyce, indicating the note. 
" It concerns myself alone." 
" Sir, does it say she's dead ? " 

'• She is not dead," he answered. " Worse than that," he added in 
his heart. 

"Why — who is this?" uttered Joyce. 

It was little Isabel, stealing in with a frightened face, in her white 
nightgown. The commotion had aroused her. 

" What is the matter ? " she asked. " Where's mamma ? " 
" Child, you'll catch your death of cold," said Joyce. " Go back to 
bed." 

" But I want mamma." 

" In the morning, dear," evasively returned Joyce. " Sir, please, 
must not Miss Isabel go back to bed?" 

Mr. Carlyle made no reply to the question ; most likely he never 
heard it. But he touched Isabel's shoulder to draw Joyce's attention 
to the child. 

" Joyce — A//ss Lucy, in future." 

He left the room, and Joyce remained silent from amazement. She 
heard him go out at the hall door and bang it after him. Isabel — nay, 
we must say " Lucy " also — went and stood outside the chamber door : 
the servants, gathered in a group, did not observe her. Presently she 
came running back again, and disturbed Joyce from her reverie. 
" Joyce, is it true ? " 
"Is what true, my dear ? " 

" They are saying that Captain Levison has taken away mamma." 
Joyce fell back in her chair, with a scream. It changed to a long, 
low moan of anguish. 

" What has he taken her for ? — to kill her ? I thought it was only 
kidnappers who took people." 
" Child, child, go to bed ! " 

" Oh, Joyce, I want mamma ! When will she come back ? " 
Joyce hid her face in her hands to conceal its emotion from the 
motherless child. And just then Miss Carlyle entered on tiptoe and 
humbly sat down on a low chair, her face, in its grief, its remorse, and 
its horror, looking nearly as dark as her stockings. 
She broke out into a sul^dued wail. 
" God be merciful to this dishonoured house ! " 

Mr. Justice Hare turned into his gate between twelve and one ; 
turned in with a jaunty air : for the justice was in spirits, having won 
nine sixpences, and his friend's tap of ale had been unusually good. 
When he reached his bedroom, he told Mrs. Hare of a chaise and four 
which had gone tearing past at a furious pace as he was closing the 
gate, coming from the direction of East Lynne. He wondered where 
it could be going at that midnight hour, and whom it contained. 



212 EAST LYNNE. 

CHAPTER X. 

CHARMING RESULTS. 

Nearly a year went by. 

Lady Isabel Carlyle had spent it on the Continent — that refuge for 
such fugitives — now removing about from place to place with her 
companion, now stationary and alone. Half the time — taking one 
absence with another — he had been away from her, chiefly in Paris, 
pursuing his own course and his own pleasure. 

r~'How fared it with Lady Isabel? Just as it must be expected to 
fare, and does fare, when a high-principled gentlewoman falls from 
her pedestal. Never had she experienced a moment's calm, or peace, 
or happiness, since the fatal night of quitting her home. She had 
taken a blind leap in a moment of wild passion ; when, instead of the 
garden of roses it had been her persuader's pleasure to promise her 
(but which, in truth, she had barely glanced at, for that had not been 
her moving motive), she had found herself plunged into an abyss of 
horror, from which there was never more any escape ; never more, 
never more. The very hour of her departure she awoke to what she 
had done : the guilt, whose aspect had been shunned in prospective, 
assumed at once its true, frightful colour, the blackness of darkness ; 
and a lively remorse, a never-dying anguish, took possession of her 
soul for ever. Oh, reader, believe me ! Lady — wife — mother ! should 
you ever be tempted to abandon your home, so will you awaken ! 
Whatever trials may be the lot of your married life, though they may 
magnify themselves to your crushed spirit as beyond the endurance of 
woman to bear, resolve to bear theni ; fall down upon your knees and 
pray to be enabled to bear them : pray for patience ; pray for strength 
to resist the demon that would urge you so to escape ; bear unto death, 
rather than forfeit your fair name and your good conscience ; for be 

}, assured that the alternative, if )'ou rush on to it, will be found far worse 

/j than death ! 

Poor thing ! poor Lady Isabel ! She had sacrificed husband, children, 

L reputation, home, all that makes life of value to woman ; she had for- 
feited her duty to God, had deliberately broken His commandments, 
for the one poor miserable sake of flying with Francis Levison. But, 
the instant the step was irrevocable, the instant she had passed the 
barrier, repentance set in. Even in the first days of her departure, in 
the fleeting moments of abandonment, when it may be supposed she 
might momentarily forget conscience, it was sharply wounding her with 
its adder-like stings : and she knew that her whole future existence, 
whether spent with th.Tt man or without him, would be one dark course 
of gnawing, never-ending retribution. 

It is possible remorse docs not come to all erring wives so imme- 
diately as it came to Lady Isabel Carlyle — you need not be reminded 
that we speak of women in the higher positions of life. Lady Isabel 
was endowed with sensitively refined delicacy, with an innate, lively 
consciousness of right and wrong ; a nature, such as hers, is one of the 



CHARMING RESULTS. 213 

last that may be expected to err ; and, but for that most fatal misappre- 
hension regarding her husband, the jealous belief, fanned by Captain 
Levison, that his love was given to Barbara Hare, and that the two 
were uniting to deceive her, she would never have forgotten herself. 
The haunting skeleton of remorse had taken up his lodging within her ; 
a skeleton of living fire, that must prey upon her heart-strings for ever. 
Every taunt to be cast upon her by the world, every slight that would 
henceforth be her portion, for she had earned it, must tell but too surely 
upon her crushed spirit. 

Nearly a year went by ; all but some six or eight weeks ; when one 
morning in July, Lady Isabel made her appearance in the breakfast- 
room. They were staying now at Cirenoble. Taking that town on 
their way from Switzerland, through Savoy, it had been Captain 
Levison's pleasure to halt there. He engaged furnished apartments 
in the vicinity of the Place Grenette ; it was a windy old house, full of 
doors and windows, chimneys and cupboards ; and there he said he 
should remain. Lady Isabel remonstrated ; she wished to go farther 
on, where they might I'eceive quicker news from England ; but her will 
now was as nothing. She looked like the ghost of her former self If 
you thought that she looked ill when she took that voyage over the 
water with Mr. Carlyle, you should have seen her now : misery marks 
the countenance far more than sickness. Her face was white and 
worn, her hands were thin, her eyes were sunken and surrounded by a 
black circle ; care was digging hollows for them. A stranger might 
have attributed these signs to her state of health ; she knew better ; 
knew that they were the effects of her wretched mind and heart. 

It was very late for breakfast : but why should she rise early, only to 
drag through another endless day ? Languidly she took her seat at the 
table, just as Captain Levison's servant, a Frenchman, whom he had 
engaged in Paris, entered the room with two letters. 

" Point de gazette, Pierre ? " she asked. 

" Non, miladi." 

And all the while the sly fox had the Times in his coat-pocket ! But 
he was only obeying the orders of his master. It had been Captain 
Levison's recent pleasure that the newspapers should not be seen by 
Lady Isabel until he had looked over them. You will speedily learn 
his motive. 

Pierre departed towards Captam Levison's room, and Lady Isabel 
took up t'ne letters and examined their superscription with interest. It 
was known to her that Mr, Carlyle had not lost a moment in seeking a 
divorce, and the announcement, that it was granted, was now daily 
expected. She was anxious for it ; anxious that Captain Levison should 
render her the only reparation in his power, before the birth of her 
child • she little knew that there was not the least intention on his part 
to make her reparation — any more than he had made it to others who 
had gone before her. She had become painfully aware of the fact that 
the man for whom she had sacrificed herself, was bad ; but she had 
not learned all his badness yet. 

Captain Levison, unwashed, unshaven, a dressing-gown loosely flung 
on, lounged in to breakfast ; these decked-out dandies before the world 
are frequently the greatest slovens in domestic privacy. He wished 



214 EAST LYNNE. 

her good morning in a careless tone of apathy, and she as apathetically 
answered to it. 

" Pierre says there are some letters," he began. " What a precious 
hot day it is ! " 

" Two," was her short reply, her tone sullen as his. For, if you 
think, my good reader, that the flattering words, the ardent expressions 
which usually attend the beginning of these promising unions, last out 
a whole ten months, you are in egregious error. Compliments, the very 
opposite to honey and sweetness, have generally set in long before. 

" Two letters," she continued ; " and they are both in the same hand- 
writing : your solicitor's, I believe." 

Up went his head at the last word, and he made a snatch at the 
letters ; stalked to the farthest window, opened one, and glanced over 
its contents. 

" Sir, — We beg to inform you that the suit, Carlyle v. Carlyle, is at 
an end : the divorce was pronounced without opposition. According 
to your request, we hasten to forAvard you the earliest intimation of 
the fact. 

" We are, sir, faithfully yours, 

" F. Levison, Esq." " Moss & Gr.\b." 

It was over, then. And all claim to the name of Carlyle was 
declared to have been forfeited by the Lady Isabel for ever. Captain 
Levison folded up the letter, and placed it securely in an inner pocket. 

"Is there any news ? " she asked. 

" News ! " 

" Of the divorce, I mean." 

" Tush ! " was the response of Captain Levison, as if wishing to imply 
that the divorce was yet a far-off affair : and he proceeded to open the 
other letter. 

"Sir, — After sending off our last, dated to-day, we received tidings 
of the demise of Sir Peter Levison, your great-uncle. He expired 
this afternoon in town, where he had come for the benefit of medical 
advice. Wc have much pleasure in congratulating you upon your 
accession to the title and estates : and beg to state that should it not 
be convenient to you to visit England at present, we shall be happy to 
transact all necessary matters for you, on your favouring us with in- 
structions. 

" And we remain, sir, most faithfully yours, 

" Sir Francis Levison, Bart." " Moss & Grab." 

The letter was superscribed as the other, " F. Levison, Esquire ; " no 
doubt with a view to its more certain delivery. 

"At last ! thank the pigs I " was the gentleman's euphonious expres- 
sion, as he tossed the letter open upon the breakfast-table. 

"The divorce is granted ! " feverishly uttered Lady Isabel. 

He made no reply, Ijut seated himself to breakfast. 

" May I re.id the letter ? Is it for me to read ? " 

" For what else should I have thrown it there .''" he said. 



CHARMING RESULTS. 215 

"A few days ago, you placed a letter, open, upon the table, as I 
thought, for me : but when I took it up you swore at me. Do you 
remember it. Captain Levison ? " 

" You may drop that odious title, Isabel, which has stuck to me all 
too long. I own a better one now." 

" What is it, pray ? " 

" You can look, and see." 

Lady Isabel took up the letter and read it. Sir Francis swallowed 
his coffee, and rang the hand-bell — the only bell you generally meet 
with in France. Pierre answered it. 

" Put me up a change of things," said he, in French. " I start for 
England in an hour." 

" It was very well," Pierre responded : and departed to do it. Lady 
Isabel waited till the man was gone, and then spoke, a faint llusli of 
emotion appearing in her cheeks. 

'' You do not mean what you say ? You will not leave me yet ? " 

"I cannot do othenvise," he answered. "There's a mountain of 
business to be attended to, now that I have come into power." 

" Moss and Grab say they will act for you. Had there been a neces- 
sity for your going they would not have offered to do so." 

*' Ay, they say so — with an eye to feathering their pockets ! Go to 
EngLmd I must : it is absolutely essential. Besides, I should not 
choose the old man's funeral to take place without me." 

" Then I must accompany you," she urged. 

" I wish you would not talk nonsense, Isabel. Are you in a state to 
travel night and day ? Neither would England be agreeable to you at 
present." 

She felt the force of the objections : resuming, after a moment's 
pause. " Were you to go to England, you might not be back in time." 

"In time for what ? " 

" Oh, how can you ask ? " she rejoined in a sharp tone of reproach ; 
"you know too well. In time to make me your wife when the divorce 
shall appear." 

" I must chance it," coolly observed Sir Francis. 

" Chance it ! chance the legitimacy of the child ? You must assure 
that, before all things. More terrible to me than all the rest would it 
be, if " 

'' Now, don't put yourself into a fever, Isabel. How many times an\ 
I to be compelled to beg that of you ? It does no good. Is it my fault 
if 1 am called suddenly to England ? " 

" Have you no pity for your child ? " she urged, in agitation. " No- 
thing can repair the injury, if you once sufier it to come upon him. 
He will be a byword amidst men throughout his life." 

" You had better have written to the law lords to urge on the 
divorce," he retorted. '" I cannot help the delay." 

" There has been no delay ; quite the contrar)'. But it may be 
expected hourly now." 

" You are worrying yourself for nothing, Isabel. I shall be back in 
time." 

He quitted the room as he spoke, and Lady Isabel remained in it, 
the image of despair. Nearly an hour passed, when she remembered 



2i6 EAST LYNNE. 

the breakfast things, and rang for them to be removed. A maid- 
servant entered, and she thought how ill miladi looked. 

" Where was Pierre ? " miladi asked. 

" Pierre was making himself ready to attend monsieur to England." 

Scarcely had she closed the door upon herself and her tray vhen 
Sir Francis Levison appeared, equipped for travelling. " Good-bye, 
Isabel," said he, without further circumlocution or ceremony. 

Lady Isabel, excited beyond all self-control, slipped the bolt of the 
door ; and, half leaning against it, half kneeling at his feet, held up her 
hands in supplication. 

" Francis, have you any consideration left for me — any in the 
world .? " 

"How can you be so absurd, Isabel? Of course I have," he con- 
tinued, in a peevish though kind tone, as he took her hands to raise her. 

" No, not yet. I will remain here until you say you will wait 
another day or two. You know that the French Protestant minister 
is prepared to marry us, the instant news of the divorce shall arrive : 
if you do care still for me, you will wait." 

" I cannot wait," he replied, his tone changing to one of determina- 
tion. " It is useless to urge it." 

" Say that you will not." 

"Well, then, I will not ; if you would prefer to have it so : anything 
to please you. Isabel, you are like a child. I shall be back in time." 

" Do not think I am urging it for my sake," she panted, growing 
more agitated with every fleeting moment. " You know that I am not. 
I do not care what becomes of me. No ; you shall not go till you 
hear me ! Oh, Francis, by all I have forfeited for your sake " 

" Get up, Isabel," he interrupted. 

" P^or the child's sake ! for the child's sake. A whole long life before 
it ; never to hold up its head, of right ; the reproach everlastingly upon 
it that it was born in sin ! Francis ! Francis ! if you have no pity for 
mc, have pity upon it ! " 

" 1 think you are losing your senses, Isabel ! There's a month yet, 
and I promise you to be back ere it shall have elapsed. Nay, ere half 
of it shall have elapsed : a week will accomplish all I want to do in 
London. Let me pass, you have my promise, and I will keep it." 

She never moved ; only stood where she was, raising her supplicating 
hands. He grew impatient, and by some dexterous sleight of hand got 
the door open. .She seized his arm. 

" Not for my sake," she panted still, her dry lips drawn and livid. 

" Nonsense about ' not for your sake.' It is for your sake that I will 
keep my promise. I must go. There : good-bye, Isabel, and take 
care of yourself." 

He broke from her and left the room, and in another minute had 
left the house, Pierre attending him. A feeling, amounting to a con- 
viction, rushed over the unhappy lady, that she had seen him for the 
last time imtil it should be too late. 

She \\,\i right. It was too late by weeks and months. 



( 217 ) 
CHAPTER XI. 

MUTUAL COMPLIMENTS. 

Declmber came in. The Alps were covered with snow; Grenoble 
borrowed the shade, and looked cold and white, and sleety and 
sloppy ; the wide gutters which run through the middle of certain of 
the streets, were unusually black, and people crept along, cold and 
very dismal. Close to the fire, in the barn of a French bedroom, full 
of windows, and doors, and draughts, with its wide hearth and its 
wide chimney, shivered Lady Isabel Vane. She wore an invalid's cap, 
and a thick woollen shawl, and she shook and shivered constantly ; 
though she had drawn so close to the wood fire that there was danger 
of her dress igniting, and the attendant had frequently to spring up 
and interpose between it and the crackling logs. Little did it seem to 
matter to Lady Isabel : she sat in one position, her countenance the 
picture of stony despair. 

So had she sat, so looked, since she began to grow better. She liad 
had a long illness, terminating in low fever ; but the attendants whis- 
pered amongst themselves that miladi would soon get about if she 
would only rouse herself. She had so far done so as to sit up in the 
windy chamber ; and it seemed to be to her a matter of perfect indif- 
ference whether she ever went out of it or not. 

This day she had taken her early dinner-^such as it was, for appetite 
failed her — and had dozed in the arm-chair, when a noise arose from 
below, as of a carriage driving into the court-yard through the porte- 
cochere. It instantly aroused her. Had he come ? 

" Who is it .'' " she asked of the nurse. 

" Miladi, it is monsieur : and Pierre is with him. I have begged 
miladi often and often not to fret, for that monsieur would surely 
come : and miladi sees I am right." 

A strangely firm expression, speaking of severe resolution, over- 
spread the face of Lady Isabel. It would seem to say that she had 
not " fretted " much after him who had now arrived ; or, at any rate, 
that she was not fretting after him now. " Patience and calmness ! " 
she murmured to herself, " Oh, may they not desert me, now the time 
has come ! " 

" Monsieur looks so well ! " proclaimed the maid, who had taken up 
her station at a window that overlooked the court-yard. "He has got 
out of the carriage : he is shaking himself and stamping his feet." 

''You may leave the room, Susanne," said Lady Isabel. 

" But if the baby wakes, miladi ? " 

" I will ring." 

The girl departed, closing the door, and Lady Isabel sat looking at it, 
schooling herself to patience. Another moment and it was flung open. 

Sir Francis Levison approached to greet her as he came in. She 
waved him off, begging him, in a subdued, quiet tone, not to draw too 
near, as any little excitement made her faint now. He took a seat 
opposite to her, and began pushing the logs together with his boot, as 
he explained that he really could not get away from town before. 



2i8 EAST LYNNE. 

" Why did you come now ? " she quietly rejoined. 

" Why did I come ? " repeated he. " Are these all the thanks a 
fellow gets for travelling in this inclement w-eather ? I thought you 
would at least have been glad to welcome me, Isabel." 

" Sir Francis," she rejoined, speaking still with almost unnatural 
calmness, as she continued to do throughout the interview — though 
the frequent changes in her countenance, and the movement of her 
hands, when she laid them from time to time on her chest to keep 
down its beating, told what an effort the struggle cost her — " Sir 
Francis, I am glad, for one reason, to welcome you : we must come to 
an understanding one with the other ; and, so far, I am pleased that 
you are here. It was my intention to have communicated with you 
by letter as soon as I found myself capable of exertion, but your 
visit has removed the necessity. I wish to deal with you quite un- 
reservedly, without concealment or deceit : I must request you so to 
deal with me." 

" What do you mean by ' deal ' ? " he asked, settling the logs to his 
apparent satisfaction. 

" To speak and act. Let there be plain truth between us at this 
interview, if there never has been before." 

"il don't understand you." 

" Naked truth, unglossed," she pursued, bending her eyes deter- 
minately upon him. " It w//^/ be." 

"With all my heart," returned Sir Francis. " It is you who have 
thrown out the challenge, mind." 

" When you left in July you gave me a sacred promise to come back 
in time for our marriage : you know what I mean when I say ' in time ' : 
but " 

" Of course I meant to do so when I gave the promise," he inter- 
rupted. " But no sooner had I set foot in London than I found myself 
overwhelmed with business, and away from it I could not get. Even 
now I can only remain with you a couple of days, for I must hasten 
back to town." 

" You are breaking faith already," she said, after hearing him calmly 
to the end. " Your words arc not words of truth, but of deceit. You 
did not intend to be back in time for the marriage ; or, otherwise, you 
would have caused it to take place ere you went at all." 

" What fancies you take up I " uttered Francis Levison. 

" Some time subsequent to your departure," she quietly went on, " one 
of the maids was setting to rights the clothes in your dressing-closet, 
and she brought me a letter she found in one of the pockets. I saw, by 
the date, that it was one of those two you received on the morning of 
your departure. It contained the information that the divorce was 
pronounced." 

She spoke so quietly, so apparently without feeling or passion, that 
Sir Francis was agreeably astonished. He should have less trouble in 
throwing off the mask. But he was an ill-tempered man ; and, to hear 
that the letter had been found, to have the falseness of his fine protesta- 
tions and promises so effectually laid bare, did not improve his temper 
now. Lady Isabel continued : 

" It had been better to have undeceived me then ; to have told me 



MUTUAL COMPLIMENTS. 219 

that the hopes I was cherishing for the sake of the unbori child, were 
worse than vain." 

" I did not judge so," he rephcd. " The excited state you then 
appeared to be in, would have precluded your listening to any sort of 
reason." 

Her heart beat a little quicker ; but she stilled it. 

" You deem that it was not in reason I should aspire to be made the 
wife of Sir Francis Levison ? " 

He rose and began kicking at the logs ; with the heel of his boot this 
time. "Well, Isabel — you must be aware that it is an awful sacrifice 
for a man in my position to marry a divorced woman." 

The hectic flushed into her thin cheeks, but her voice sounded calm 
as before. 

" When I expected, or wished, for the ' sacrifice,' it was not for my 
own sake : I told you so then. But it was not made : and the child's 
inheritance is that of sin and shame. There he lies." 

.Sir Francis half turned to where she pointed, and saw an infant's 
cradle by the side of the bed. He did not take the trouble to go to 
look at it. 

" I am the representative now of an ancient baronetcy," he resumed, 
in a tone as of apology for his previous heartless words, '* and to make 
you my wife would so offend all my family, that " 

" Stay," interrupted L.ady Isabel ; ''you need not trouble yourself to 
find needless excuses. Had you taken this journey for the purpose of 
making nic your wife, were you to propose to do so this day, and bring 
a clergyman into the room to perfoiin the ceremony, it would be futile. 
The injury to the child can never be repaired : and, for myself, I cannot 
imagine any worse fate in life than being compelled to pass it with 
you." 

" If you have taken this aversion to me it cannot be helped," he coolly 
said ; inwardly congratulating himself at being spared the trouble he 
had anticipated. "You made commotion enough once, about my 
making you ' reparation.' " 

She shook her head. " All the reparation in your power to make, all 
the reparation that the whole world can invent, could not undo my sin. 
It, and its effects, must lie upon me for ever." 

" Oh — sin ! " was the derisive exclamation. " You ladies should think 
of that beforehand." 

" Yes," she sadly answered. " ]\Iay Heaven help all to do so, who 
may be tempted as I was." 

" If you mean that as a reproach to mc, it's rather out of place," 
chafed Sir Francis, whose fits of ill temper were under no control, and 
who never, when in them, cared what he said to outrage the feelings of 
another. " The temptation to sin, as you call it, lay not in my persua- 
sions, half so much as in your jealous anger towards your husband." 

" Quite true," was her reply. 

"And 1 believe you were on the wrong scent, Isabel — if it will be any 
satisfaction to you to hear it. Since we are mutually on this compli- 
mentary discourse, it is useless to smooth over facts." 

" I do not understand what you would imply," she said, drawing her 
shawl round her with a fresh shiver. " How 'on the wroni: scent '?" 



2ao EAST LYNNE. 

" With regard to your husband and that Hare girl. You were blindly, 
outrageously jealous of him." 

" Go on." 

" And I say I think you were on the wrong scent. I do not believe 
Carlyle ever thought of the girl — in that way." 

" What do you mean ? " she gasped. 

" They had a secret between them. Not of love. A secret of business : 
and those interviews they had together, her dancing attendance upon 
him everlastingly, related to that ; and to that alone." 

Her face was more flushed than it had been throughout the interview. 
He spoke quietly now, quite in an equable tone of reasoning : it was his 
way when his ill temper was upon him ; and the calmer he spoke, the 
more cutting were his words. He need not have told her this. 

" What was the secret ? " she inquired in a low tone. 

" Nay, I can't explain all ; they did not take me into their confidence. 
They did not even take you : better, perhaps, that they had, though, 
as things have turned out — or seem to be turning. There's some 
disreputable secret attaching to the Hare family, and Carlyle was 
acting in it for Mrs. Hare. She could not seek out Carlyle herself, so 
she sent the young lady. That's all I knew." 

" How did you know it .'' " 

" I had reason to think so." 

" What reason ? I must request you to tell me." 

" I overheard scraps of their conversation now and then in those 
meetings, and so gathered my con-elusions." 

• " You told a different tale to me. Sir Francis," was her remark, as 
she lifted her indignant eyes towards him. 

Sir Francis laughed. " All stratagems are fair in love and war." 

She dared not immediately trust herself to reply, and a silence 
ensued. Sir Francis broke it, pointing with his left thumb over his 
shoulder in the direction of the cradle. 

" What have you named that young article there ? " 

" The name which ought to have been his by inheritance : ' Francis 
Levison,' " was her icy answer. 

" Let's see — how old is he now ? " 

"He was born the last day of August." 

Sir Francis threw up his arms and stretched himself, as if a fit of 
idleness had overtaken him ; then advanced to the cradle and pulled 
down the clothes. 

" Who is he like, Isabel? My handsome self?" 

" Were he like you — in spirit — 1 would pray that he might die, ere 
lie could speak or think," she burst forth ; and then, remembering the 
resolution she had marked out for herself, subsided outwardly into 
calmness again. 

" What else ? " retorted Sir Francis. " You know my disposition 
pretty well by this time, Isabel, and may be sure that if you deal out 
small change to me, you will get it back again with interest." 

She made no reply. Sir Francis put the clothes again over the 
sleeping child, returned to the fire and stood a few moments with his 
back to it. 

*' Is my room prepared for me, do you know ?" he presently asked. 



MUTUAL COMPLIMENTS. 221 

" No, it is not," she quietly rejoined. " These apartments are mine 
now : they have been transferred into my name, and they can never 
again afford you accommodation. Will you be so obliging — I am not 
strong — as to hand me that writing-case ? " 

Sir Francis walked to the table she indicated, which was at the far 
end of the great barn of a room ; and, taking the writing-case from it, 
gave it to her. 

She reached her keys from the stand at her elbow,' unlocked the 
case, and took from it some bank-notes. 

" I received these from you a month ago," she said. " They came 
by post." 

" And you never had the grace to acknowledge them," he returned, 
in a sort of mock-reproachful tone. 

*' Forty pounds. That was the amount, was it ? " 

" I believe so." 

" Allow me to return them to you. Count them." 

" Return them to me — why ! " inquired Sir Francis in amazement. 

" I have no longer anything whatever to do with you, in any way. 
Do not make my arm ache, holding out the notes to you so long ! 
Take them ! " 

Sir Francis took the notes from her hand and placed them on the 
stand near to her. 

"If it be your wish that all relations should end between us, why, 
let it be so," he said. " I must confess I think it may be the wisest 
course, as things have come to this pass, for the cat-and-dog life, 
which would seemingly be ours, is not agreeable. Remember, that it 
is your doing ; not mine. But you cannot think I am going to see 
you starve, Isabel. A sum — we will fix upon its amount amicably — 
shall be placed to your credit half yearly, and " 

" I beg of you to cease ! " she passionately interrupted. " What do 
you take me for ? " 

" Take you for ! Why, how can you live ? You have no fortune ; 
you must receive assistance from some one." 

" I will not receive it from you. If the whole world denied mc, 
and I could find no help from strangers, or means of earning my own 
bread, and it was necessary that I should still exist, I would apply to 
my husband for means, rather than to you. This ought to convince 
you that the topic may cease." 

" Your husband ? " sarcastically rejoined Sir Francis. '' Generous 
man ! " 

A flush, deep and painful, dyed her cheeks. " I should have said 
my late husband. You need not have reminded me of the mistake." 

" If you will accept nothing for yourself, you must for the child. 
He, at any rate, falls to my share. I shall give you a few hundreds a 
year with him." 

She beat her hands before her, as if beating off the man and his 
words. " Not a farthing, now or ever : were you to attempt to send 
money for him, I would throw it into the nearest river. lVho»i do 
you take me for 1 — what do you take me for .'' " she repeated, rising in 
her bitter mortification. "If you have put me beyond the pale of the 
world, I am still Lord Mount Severn's daughter." 



222 EAST LYNNE. 

" You did as much towards putting yourself beyond its pale, as " 

" Do I not know it? Have I not said so ?" she sharply interrupted. 
And then she sat, striving to calm herself, clasping together her 
shaking hands. 

" Well, if you will persist in this perverse resolution, I cannot mend 
it," resumed Sir Francis. " In a little time you may probably wish 
to recall it : in which case, a line, addressed to me at my bankers', 
will " 

Lady Isabel drew herself up. " Put away these notes, if you please," 
she interrupted, not allowing him to finish his sentence. 

He took out his pocket-book, and placed the bank-notes within it. 

" Your clothes — those you left here when you went to England — • 
you will have the goodness to order Pierre to take away this afternoon. 
And now. Sir Francis, I believe that is all : we will part." 

"To remain mortal enemies from henceforth?" he rejoined. "Is 
that to be it ? " 

" To be strangers," she replied, correcting him. " I wish you a 
good day." 

" So ! you will not even shake hands with me, Isabel ! " 

" I would prefer not." 

And thus they parted. Sir Francis left the room, but not imme- 
diately the house. He went into a distant apartment, and, calling the 
servants before him — there were only two — gave them each a year's 
wages in advance. " That they might not have to trouble miladi for 
money," he said to them. Then he paid a visit to the landlord, and 
handed him likewise a year's rent in advance, making the same 
remark. After that, he ordered dinner at an hotel, and the same 
night he and Pierre departed on their journey home again. Sir Francis 
thanking his lucky star that he had so easily got rid of a vexatious 
annoyance. 

And Lady Isabel? She passed her evening alone, sitting in the 
same place, close to the fire and the embers. The attendant remon- 
strated that miladi was remaining up too late for her strength ; but 
miladi ordered her and her remonstrance into an adjoining room. 

Never had her repentance been niore kcenl)- vivid to her than it was 
that evening ; never had her position, present and future, loomed out 
in blacker colours. The facts of her hideous case stood before her, 
naked and bare. She had wilfully abandoned her husband, her 
children, her home ; she had cast away her good name and her posi- 
tion ; and she had deliberately offended (lod. What had she gained 
in return? What was she? A poor outcast ; one of those whom men 
pity, and whom women shrink from ; a miserable, friendless creature, 
who had henceforth to earn the bread she. and the other life depen- 
dent on her, nuist cat, the clothes they must wear, the roof that must 
cover them, the fuel they must Ijurn. She had a few valuable jewels, 
her mother's or her father's gifts, which she had brought away from 
East Lynne : she had brought no others ; nothing given to her by Mr. 
Carlyle : and these she now intended to dispose of, and hvc upon until 
they were gone. The proceeds, with strict economy, might last her 
some twelve or eighteen months she calculated : after that she must 
find out some means of supply for the future. Put the child out to 



MUTUAL COMPLIMENTS. 223 

nurse, conceal her name, and go out as governess in a French or Ger- 
man family, was one of her virions in prospective. 

A confused idea of revenge had been in her mind, urging her on to 
desperation, the night she quitted her home ; of revenge on Mr. 
Carlyle for his supposed conduct to her. But what revenge had the 
step really brought to her heart .'' As her eyes opened to her folly and 
to the true character of Francis Levison, so in proportion did they close 
to the fault by which her husband had offended her. She saw it in 
fainter colours ; she began to suspect — nay, she knew — that her own 
excited feelings had magnified it in length, breadth, and height — had 
made a molehill into a mountain : and, long before the scandal of her 
act had died away in the mouths of men, and Mr. Carlyle had legally 
put her from him, she had repented of the false step for her husband's 
sake, and longed — though it could never be — to be back again, his 
wife. She remembered his noble qualities ; doubly noble did they 
appear to her, now that her interest in them must cease ; she remem- 
bered how happy they had been together, except for her own self- 
torment touching Barbara Hare ; and, worse than all, her esteem, her 
admiration, her affection for him, had returned to her fourfold. We 
never know the full value of a thing until we lose it. Health, pros- 
perity, happiness, a peaceful conscience; what think we of these blessings 
while they are ours ? But, when we lose them, we look back in 
surprise at our ungrateful apathy. A friend may be very dear ; but 
we don't know how dear until he is gone : let him depart for ever, and 
the sorrow is almost greater than we can bear. She had lost Mr, 
Carlyle, and by her own act she had thrown him from her ; and now 
she must make the best of her work, spending her whole future life 
probably in one long yearning for him and for her children. The hint 
thrown out by Sir Francis that afternoon, that her suspicions had been 
mistaken, that her jealousy had had no foundation, did not tend to 
mitigate her repentance. Whether he was right or wrong in his 
opinion, she did not know ; but she dwelt upon it much : it was 
possible Sir Francis had merely said it to provoke her, for she knew 
his temper, and that he would be capable of doing so ; but, if right, 
what an utterly blind fool she had been I 

Her recent and depressing illness, the conviction of Sir Francis 
Levison's complete worthlcssness, the terrible position in which she 
found herself, had brought to Lady Isabel rejleciion. Not the reflec- 
tion, so called, that may come to us who yet live in and for the world, 
but that which must, almost of necessity, attend one whose part in the 
world is over, who has no interest left between this and the next. A 
conviction of her sin ever oppressed her; not only of the one act of it, 
patent to scandalmongers, but of the long sinful life she had led from 
childhood ; sinful, insomuch as that it had been carelessly indifferent. 
When thoughts of the future life, and the necessity of preparing for it, 
had occasionally come over her— there are odd moments when they 
come over even the worst of us — she had been content to leave it to 
an indefinite future ; possibly to a deathbed repentance. But now the 
truth had begun to dawn upon her, and was growing more clear day 
by day. 

She leantd her aching head this night and dwelt upon these thoughts. 



224 EAST LYNNE. 

She stretched out her wasted hand for a book, which she had rarely 
used to look into, save at stated times and periods, and more as a 
forced duty than with any other feeling. Opening it at a certain 
chapter, she read some verses at its commencement ; she had read 
them often lately ; for she had begun to hope that the same merciful 
tidings might be vouchsafed to her troubled spirit ; " Neither do I 
condemn thee : go, and sin no more." 

There was much to be blotted out ; a whole life of apathy and errors 
and sinfulness. Her future days, spent in repentance, could they 
atone for the past ? She hunted out some other words, though she did 
not know in what part they might be ; "If any man will come after 
me, let him take up his cross daily, and follow me." What a cross 
was hers to take up ! But she must do it ; she would do it, by God's 
blessing — ah ! had she got so far as to ask that ? She would take it 
up from henceforth daily and hourly, and bear it as she best might : 
she had fully earned all its weight and its sharp pain, and must not 
shrink from her burden. That night, for the first time, a momentary 
vision floated before her mind's eye ; a far, far off, indistinct vision of 
the shame and remorse and sorrow of her breaking heart giving place 
to something like peace. 

Susanne was called at last. Susanne was sleepy and cross. Miladi 
surely could not know that the clock of Notre-Dame had gone mid- 
night : and — well ! if there wasn't miladi's arrowroot cold as ice and 
good for nothing ! Miladi wanted to go into her grave, that was a fact. 

Miladi replied that she only wanted at present to go into her bed, 
if Susanne would undress her. Susanne applied herself to the task, 
indulging in sundry scraps of gossip the while : Susanne and her 
fellow-servant having had their curiosity uncommonly whetted that 
day. 

A very miserable affair it must be, that monsieur should have had 
to go back as soon as he came ! All those many miles, over those cold 
wretched roads, behind a shrieking steam-engine, and across that 
abominable sea ! She, once upon a time, when she was living with a 
family in Paris, had had leave to go down by one of those Sunday 
excursions to Dieppe, and she was asked to go upon the sea when she 
got there, and the wicked Fates put it into her poor ignorant heart to 
say " Yes." Ah, dame ! she should never forget it ! It spoiled still the 
best supper ever put before her, when she thought of it. Let it be 
fromage de cochon and a glass of vin de Bordeaux, or any other choice 
luxuries miladi might please to picture, not a bit of appetite had she, 
if those dreadful three hours on the pitching sea rose up in her mind. 
And she could hear yet her own groans, and see the state of her lovely 
green robe when she got back to la-nd ; and, oh ! the trimmings in her 
cap ! And monsieur had undergone all that, with the travelling besides, 
only to stop an hour and to go again. Pauline said he must have had 
bad news, to call him home, at the last post-town, and would no doubt 
soon be here again. When would miladi be expecting him.'' 

Miladi replied by desiring her not to talk so fast, and Susanne 
shrugged her shoulders in an ecstasy of disappointment. She had 
boasted to Pauline that she should learn all, for certain : though 
Pauline, entombed in the lower regions amidst her casseroles and 



ALONE FOR EVERMORE. 325 

matmitcs, could nol of course expect to be enlightened, unless at 
second hand. 

When Lady Isabel lay down to rest, she sank into somewhat calmer 
sleep than she had known of late ; also into a dream. She thought she 
was back again at East Lynne — not back, in one sense, but that she 
seemed never to have gone away from it— walking in the flower garden 
with Mr. Carlyle, while the three children played on the lawn. Her 
arm was within her husband's, and he was relating something to her : 
what the news was she could not remember afterwards, excepting that 
it was connected with the office and old Mr. Dill, and that Mr. Carlyle 
laughed when he told it. They appeared to be interrupted by the 
crj'ing of Archibald : and, in turning to the lawn to ask what was the 
matter, she awoke. Alas ! it was the actual crying of her own child 
which awoke her ; this last child ; the ill-fated little being in the cradle 
beside her. But, for a single instant, she forgot recent events and 
doings ; she believed she was indeed in her happy home at East Lynne, 
a proud mother, an honoured wife. As recollection flashed across her 
with its piercing stings, she gave vent to a sharp ciy of agony and 
unavailing despair. 



CHAPTER XIL 
ALONE FOR EVERMORE. 



A SURPRISE awaited Lady Isabel Vane. It was on a windy day in the 
following March that a traveller arrived at Grenoble, and inquired his 
way, of a porter, to the best hotel in the place, his French being such 
as only an Englishman can produce. 

" Hotel ? Let's see," returned the man, politely, but with native 
indifference; "there are two good hotels near to each other, and 
monsieur would find himself comfortable at either. There is the 
Trois Dauphins ; and there is the Ambassadeurs." 

"Monsieur" chose, haphazard, the Hotel des Ambassadeurs, and 
was conducted to it. Shortly after his arrival there, he inquired his 
road to the Place Grenette ; a guide was offered, but he preferred to go 
alone. The place was found, and he thence turned to the apartments 
of Lady Isabel Vane. 

Lady Isabel was sitting where you saw her the previous December, 
in the very same spot, courting the warmth of the fire, and — it seemed — 
courting the sparks also, for they appeared as fond of her as formerly : 
the marvel was, how she had escaped the flames. You might think 
that only a night had passed when you looked at the room ; for it wore 
precisely the same aspect now as then. Everything was the same, even 
to the child's cradle in the remote corner, partially hidden by the bed- 
curtains, and the sleeping child within it. Lady Isabel's progress 
towards recovery had been lingering : as is frequently the case w hen 
mind and body are diseased. She was sitting when Susanne entered 
the room, and said that a " Monsieur Anglais " had arrived in the town 
to see her, and was waiting below, in the salon. 

Lady Isabel was startled. A.n English gentleman — to see her >. 

Kast Lynne. 16 



326 EAST LYNNE. 

" English for certain," was Susanne's answer, for she had difficulty to 
comprehend his French, 

Who could be desirous of seeing her ? one out of the world, and for- 
gotten ! " Susanne," she suddenly cried aloud, a thought striking her : 
" it is never Sir Fran — it is not monsieur ? " 

" Not in the least like monsieur," complacently answered Susanne. 
" It w-as a tall, brave English gentleman, proud and noble, looking 
like a prince." 

Every pulse within Lady Isabel's body throbbed rebelliously : her 
heart bounded until it seemed about to burst her side, and she turned 
sick with excitement. " Tall, brave, noble ! " could that description 
apply to any but Mr. Carlyle ? Strange that so unnatural an idea 
should have occurred to her : it could not have done so in a calmer 
moment. She rose, tottered across the chamber, and prepared to 
descend. Susanne's tongue was let loose at the proceeding. 

" Was miladi out of her senses ? To attempt to go downstairs 
would be a pretty ending, for she'd surely f^iU by the way. Miladi 
knew that the bottom step was of lead, and that no head could pitch 
down upon that, without ever being a head any more, except in the 
hospitals. Let miladi sit still in her place and she'd bring the 
monsieur up. What did it signify? He was not a young petit-maitre, 
he was fifty, if he was a day ; his hair already turned to a fine grey." 

This set the question, touching Mr. Carlyle, at rest, and her heart 
stilled again. The next moment she was inwardly laughing in bitter 
mockery at her insensate folly. Mr. Carlyle come to see her. Her ! 
Francis Levison might be sending over some man of business, regard- 
ing the question of money, was her next thought ; if so, she should 
certainly not see him. 

" Go down to the gentleman and ask his name, Susanne. Ask also 
from whence he comes." 

Susanne disappeared, and returned, and the gentleman behind her. 
Whether she had invited him, or whether he had chosen to come 
uninvited, there he was. Lady Isabel caught a glimpse, and flung her 
hands over her burning cheeks of shame. It was Lord Mount Severn. 

"How did you find out where I was?" she gasped, when some 
painful words had been uttered on both sides. 

" I went to Sir Francis Levison and demanded your address. Certain 
recent events implied that he and you must have parted, and I there- 
fore deemed it time to inquire what he had done with you." 

" Since last July," she interrupted, lifting her wan face, now colour- 
less again. " Do not think worse of me than I am. He was here in 
December for an hour's recriminating interview, and we then parted 
for life." 

" What have you heard of him lately ? " 

" Not anything. I never know what is passing in the world at 
home ; I have no newspaper, no correspondence ; and he would 
scarcely be so bold as to write to me again." 

" I shall not shock you, then, by some tidings I bring you regarding 
him," returned Lord Mount Severn. 

"The greatest shock to nic would be to hear that I should ever 
again be subjected tosec him," she answered. 



ALONE FOR EVERMORE. 227 

*' He is married." 

'' Heaven have pity on his poor wife ! " was all the comment of Lady 
Isabel. 

" He has married Alice Challoner." 

She lifted her head then, in simple surprise. " Alice ? Not 
Blanche ? " 

" The story runs that he has played Blanche very false. That he 
had been with her much, leading on her expectations ; and then he 
suddenly proposed for her young sister. I know nothing of the details 
myself : it is not likely : and I had heard nothing, until one evening at 
the club I saw the announcement of the marriage for the following 
day at Saint George's. I was at *he church the next mornmg before 
he was." 

" Not to intercept the marriage ! " breathlessly uttered Lady Isabel. 

" Certainly not. I had no power to attempt anything of the sort. I 
went to demand an answer to my question — what he had done with 
you, and where you were ? He gave me this address, but said he had 
known nothing of your movements since December." 

There was a long silence. The earl appeared to be alternately 
ruminating and taking a survey of the room. Isabel sat with her head 
drooping. 

" Why did you seek me out ? " she presently broke forth. " I am 
not worth it. I have brought enough disgrace upon your name." 

'' And upon your husband's and upon your children's," he rejoined 
in his most severe manner, for it was not in the nature of the Earl of 
Mount Severn to gloss over guilt. " Nevertheless, it is incumbent 
upon me, as your nearest relative, to see after you, now that you are 
alone again, and to take care — so far as I can — that you do not lapse 
lower " 

He might have spared her that stab But she scarcely understood 
hiin .she looked at him, wondering whether she did understand. 

" Vou have not a shilling in the world," he resumed. " How do you 
propose to live ? " 

" I have some money still. When " 

" Nis money ? " sharply and haughtily interposed the earl. 

" No," she indignantly replied " I am selling my trinkets. Before 
they arc all gone, I shall try to earn a livelihood in some way : by 
teaching, probably " 

"Trinkets'" repeated Lord Mount Severn. "Mr Carlyle told me 
that you carried nothing away with you from East Lynne." 

" Nothing that he had given me. These were mine before I niarned. 
You have seen Mr. Carlyle then ? " she faltered. 

" Seen him ' " echoed the indignant earl. "When such a blow was 
dealt him by a member of my family, could I do less than hasten to 
East Lynne to tender him my sympathies ? I went with another object, 
also — to try to discover what could have been the moving springs of 
your conduct ■ for I protest when the black tidings reached me, I be- 
lieved that you must have gone mad. You were one of the last whom 
1 should have feared to trust. But I learned nothing, and Carlyle was 
ignorant as I, How could you strike him such a blow ?" 

Lower and lower drooped her head, brighter shortc the shame on her 



228 EAST LYNNE. 

hectic cheek. An awful blow to Mr, Carlyle it must indeed have been : 
she v/as feeling it in all its bitter intensity. Lord Mount Severn read 
her repentant looks. 

" Isabel," he said, in a tone which had lost something of its harsh- 
ness — and it was the first time he had called her by her Christian 
name : " I see that you are reaping the fruit of your conduct. Tell me 
how it happened. What demon prompted you to sell yourself to that 
bad man ? " 

" He is a bad man," she exclaimed. " A base, heartless, bad 
man." 

" I warned you at the commencement of your married life, to avoid 
him ; to shun all association with him ; not to admit him to your 
house." 

" His coming to East Lynne was not my doing," she whispered. 
" Mr. Carlyle invited him." 

" I know he did. Invited him in his unsuspicious confidence, believ- 
ing his wife to be his wife, a trustworthy woman of honour," was the 
severe remark. 

She did not reply ; she could not gainsay it ; she only sat with her 
meek face of shame, and her drooping eyelids. 

" If ever a woman had a good husband, in every sense of the word, 
you had, in Carlyle : if ever man loved his wife, he loved you. Hoiv 
could you so requite him ? " 

She rolled, in a confused manner, the corners of her shawl over her 
unconscious fingers. 

" I read the note you left for your husband. He showed it to me ; 
the only one, I believe, to whom he did show it. It was to him utterly 
inexplicable , it was so to me. A notion had been suggested to him, 
after your departure, that his sister had somewhat marred your peace 
at East Lynne ; and he blamed you much — if it were so — for not 
giving him your full confidence on the point, that he might have set 
matters on a right footing. But it was impossible (and there was the 
evidence in the note besides) that the presence of Miss Carlyle at 
East Lynne could be any excuse for your disgracing us all and ruining 
yourself." 

" Do not let us speak of these things," said Lady Isabel, faintly. " It 
cannot redeem the past." 

" But I must speak of them ; I have come to speak of them," per- 
sisted the earl r " I could not do so whilst that man was here. When 
these inexplicable events take place in the career of a woman, it is a 
father's duty to look into motives and causes and actions ; although 
the events in themselves may be, as in this case, irreparable. Your 
father is gone, but I stand in his place ; there is no one else to stand 
in it." 

Her tears began to fall. And she let them fall — in silence. The 
earl resumed. 

" But for that extraordinary letter, I should have supposed you h.ad 
been solely actuated by a mad infatuation for the cur, Levison ; its 
tenor gave the affair a different aspect. To what did you allude when 
you assorted that your husband had driven you to it ? " 

" He knew," she jinswered, scarcely above her breath. 



ALONE FOR EVERMORE. 229 

"He did not know," sternly replied the earl. "A more truthful, 
honourable man than Carlyle docs not exist on the face of the earth. 
When he told me then, in his agony of grief, that he was unable to 
form even a suspicion of your meaning, I could have staked my earl- 
dom on his veracity. I would stake it still." 

" I believed," she began, in a low, nervous voice, for she knew that 
there was no evading the questions of Lord Mount Severn, when he 
was resolved to have an answer . and, indeed, she was too weak, both 
in body and spirit, to resist : " I believed that his love was no longer 
mine ; and that he had deserted me for another." 

The earl stared at her. " What can you mean by ' deserted' ? He 
was with you." 

" There is a desertion of the heart," was her murmured answer. 

" Desertion of a fiddlestick ! " retorted his lordship. " The interpre- 
tation we gave to the note, I and Carlyle, was that you had been 
actuated by motives of jealousy ; had penned it in a jealous mood. I 
put the question to Carlyle— as between man and man — do you listen, 
Isabel? — whether he had given you cause; and he answered me as 
with God over us. He had never given you cause : he had been faith- 
ful to you in thought, word, and deed ; he had never, so far as he could 
call to mind, even looked upon another woman with covetous feelings, 
since the hour that he made you his wife ; his whole thoughts had been 
of you, and of you alone. It is more than many a husband can say," 
significantly coughjd Lord Mount Severn. 

Her pulses were beatin^j wildly. A powerful conviction, that the 
words were true ; that her own blind jealousy had been utterly mistaken 
and unfounded ; was forcing its way to her brain. 

" After that, I could only set your letter down as a subterfuge," re- 
sumed the earl ; " a false, barefaced plea, put forth to conceal your real 
motive . and I told Carlyle so. I inquired how it was he had never 
detected any secret understanding between you and that — that beast ; 
located, as the fellow was, in the house. He replied, that no such 
suspicion had ever occurred to him. He placed the most implicit con- 
fidence in you, and would have trusted you with the man round the 
world ; or with any one else." 

She entwined her hands one within the other, pressing them to pain. 
It could not deaden the pain at her heart. 

" Carlyle told me he had been unusually occupied during the stay of 
that man. Besides his ordinary office work, his time was taken up 
with some secret business for a family in the neighbourhood, and he 
had repeatedly to see them after office hours. Very old acquaintances 
of his, he said, relatives of the Carlyle family, and he was as anxious 
about the secret as they were. This, I observed to him, may have 
rendered him imobservant to what v.-as passing at home. He told me, 
I remember, that on the evening of the — the catastrophe, he ought to 
have gone with you to a dinner-party, but mo,-t important circum- 
stances arose, in connection with the affair, which obliged him to meet 
two gentlemen at his office, and to receive them m secret, unknown to 
his clerks." 

" Did he — mention the name of the family?" inquired Lady Isabel. 
with white lips. 



230 - EAST LYNNE. 

"Yes, he did. I forget it, though. Rabbit? Rabbit? some such 
name as that." 

" Was it Hare ? " 

" That was it. Hare. He said you appeared vexed that he did not 
accompany you to the dinner ; perceiving this, he intended to go in 
afterwards, but was prevented from doing so. When the interview was 
over in his office, he was again detained in Mrs. Hare's hoi'ise ; and by 
business as impossible to avoid as the other." 

" Important business ! " she echoed, giving way for a moment to the 
bitterness of former feehngs. " He was pacing their garden by moon- 
hght with Barbara — Miss Hare. I saw them as my carriage passed." 

" And you were jealous ! " exclaimed Lord Mount Severn, with mock- 
ing reproach, as he detected her mood. '' Listen ! " he whispered, 
bending his head towards her. " Whilst you thought, as your present 
tone would seem to intimate, that they were there to enjoy each other's 
society, know that they — Carlyle, at any rate — was pacing the walk 
to keep guard. There was one within that house— for a short inter- 
view with his poor mother — one who lives in danger of the scaffold ; 
to which his own father would be the first to deliver him up. They 
were keeping the path against that father, Carlyle and the young lady. 
Of all the nights in the previous seven years, that one only saw the 
unhappy son at home, for a half-hour's meeting with his mother and 
sister. Carlyle, in the grief and excitement caused by your conduct, 
confided so much to me, when mentioning what kcp' him from the 
dinner-party." 

Her face had become crimson ; crimson at her past lamentable folly. 
And there could be no redemption ! 

" But he was always with Barbara Hare ! " she murmured, by way of 
some faint excuse. 

" She had to see him upon this affair ; her mother could not, for it 
was obliged to be kept from the father. And so you construed busi- 
ness interviews into assignations ' " continued Lord Mount Severn with 
cutting derision. " I had given you credit for better sense. But was 
this enough to hurl you on to the step you took ? Surely not ! You 
must have yielded to the persuasions of that wicked man." 

" It is all over now," she wailed. 

" Carlyle was true and faithful to you, and to you alone. Few women 
have the chance of happiness in their married life, in the degree that 
you had. He is an upright and good man ; one of nature's gentlemen : 
one that England may be proud of, as having grown upon her soil. 
The more I sec of him the greater becomes my admiration of him, and 
of his thorough honour. Do you know what he did in the matter of 
damages ? " 

She shook her head. 

" He did not wish to proceed for damages ; or, only for the trifling 
sum demanded by law ; but the jury, feeling for his wrongs, gave un- 
precedently heavy ones. Since the fellow came into his baronetcy, 
they have been paid ■ Carlyle immediately handed them over to the 
county hospital. He holds the apparently obsolete opinion, that money 
cannot wipe out a wife's dishonour." 

" Let us close these topics," implored the poor invalid. " I acted 



ALONE FOR EVERMORE. 231 

wickedly and madly ; and I have the consequence to bear for ever. 
More I cannot say." 

" Where do you intend to place your future residence ? " inquired the 
earl. 

" I am unable to tell. I shall leave this town as soon as I am well 
enough." 

"Ay. It cannot be pleasant for you to remain under the eyes of its 
inhabitants. You were here with him, were you not ? " 

" They think I am his wife," she murmured. " The servants think it." 

" That's well ; so far. How many servants have you ? " 

" Two. I am not strong enough yet to do much myself, so am 
obliged to keep two," she continued, as if in apology for the extrava- 
gance, under her reduced circumstances. "As soon as ever the baby 
can walk, I shall manage to do with one." 

The earl look confounded. " The baby ! " he uttered, in a tone of as- 
tonishment and grief painful to her to hear. " Isabel ! is there a child ? " 

Not less painful was her own emotion, as she hid her face. Lord 
Mount Severn rose, and paced the room with striding steps. 

" I did not know it i I did not know it ! Wicked, heartless villain ! 
He ought to have married you before its birth. Was the divorce out 
previously ? " he added, arresting his strides to ask it. 

" Yes." 

" Coward ! sneak ! May good men shun him from henceforth ! may 
his"! Queen refuse to receive him ! You, an earl's daughter ! Oh, 
Isabel ! How utterly you have lost yourself ! " 

Lady Isabel started from her chair, in a burst of hysterical sobs, her 
hands extended beseechingly towards the earl. " Spare me ! spare me ! 
You have been rending my heart ever since you entered ; indeed I am 
too weak to bear it." 

The earl, in truth, had been betrayed into showing more of his senti- 
ments than he intended. He summoned his recollection. 

"Well, well, sit down again, Isabel," he said, putting her into her 
chair. " We will go to the point I chiefly came here to settle. What 
sum will it take you to live upon ? Quietly : as of course you would 
now wish to live ; but comfortably." 

" I will not accept anything," she replied. " I will earn my own 
living ;" and the earl's irascibility again rose at the speech. He spoke 
in a sharp tone. 

"Absurd, Isabel! do not add romantic folly to your other mistakes. 
Earn your own living, indeed! As much as is necessary for you to live 
upon, I shall supply. No remonstrance : I tell you I am acting as for 
your father. Do you suppose he would have abandoned you, to starve 
or to work ?" 

The allusion touched every chord within her bosom, and the tears 
fell fast. " I thought I could earn my living by teaching," she sobbed. 

" And how much did you anticipate the teaching would bring you in ? " 

" Not very much," she listlessly said. '• A hundred a year, perhaps : 
I am very clever at music and singing. That sum might keep us, I 
fancy, even if I only went out by day." 

" And a grand ' keep ' it would be ! You shall have that sum every 
quarter." 



232 EAST LYNNE. 

" No, no ! oh no ! I do not deserve it ; I could not accept it. I have 
forfeited all claim to assistance." 

" Not to mine. Now, it is of no use to excite yourself, for my mind 
is made up. I never willingly forego a duty, and I look upon this 
not only as a duty, but an imperative one. Upon my return, I shall 
immediately settle four hundred a year upon you, and you can draw it 
quai'terly." 

" Then half the sum," she reiterated, knowing how useless it was to 
contend with Lord Mount Severn when he mounted the stilts of " duty." 
'''ndeed, two hundred a year will be abundance; it will seem like 
riches to me." 

■' I have named the sum, Isabel, and I shall not make it less. A 
Inmdred pounds every three months shall be paid to you, dating from 
this day. This does not count," he continued, laying down some notes 
upon the table. 

" Indeed, I have some ready money by me," she urged, her cheeks 
flushing at what she looked upon as unmerited kindness for none 
could think worse of her than she did of herself " Pray take it back ; 
you are too good to me." 

" I don't know what you call * ready money,' " returned the earl, 
'• but you have just informed me you were selhng your trinkets to live 
upon. Put up the notes, Isabel ■ they are only a small amount, just to 
go on with. Are you in debt ? " 

" Oh no." 

"And mind you don't get into it," advised the earl, as he rose to 
depart. " You can let me hear of you from time to time, Isabel." 

'' What does the world say of me ? " she took courage to whisper. It 
was a cjuestion often in her own mmd. Lord Mount Severn paused 
before he replied, marvelhng, probably, that she could ask it. 

" Just what you may liave said in the days now over, at any who had 
gone the way that you have done What did you expect that it would 



say 



?» 



What indeed ! She stood there with her humble face and her beat- 
ing heart. The earl took her hand within his in token of farewell : 
turned, and was gone. 

Lord Mount Severn, stern and uncompromising as he was, had yet 
a large share of kindness and conscientiousness. From the moment he 
heard of the false step taken by Lady Isabel, and that it was with 
Francis Levison she had flown, he cast more blame than he had ever 
done before upon the conduct of liis wife, in having forced her — so he 
regarded it — upon Mr Carlyle. In short, he considered his wife as the 
primary, though remote, cause of the present ill : not that he in the 
slightest degree underrated Lady Isaljel's own share in it, quite the 
contrary. From this motive, no le::s than that he was her relative, he 
deemed it his duty to sec after her in her shame and sadness. 

Susanne attended Lord Mount Severn to the door and watched him 
down the street, thinking what a "brave Monsieur Anglais" he was, 
and how delighted miladi must be at seeing a friend, to break the 
monotony of licr sick and lonely existence. Susanne made no doubt 
that the visit must so far have aroused miladi as to set her thinking 
about t'.elting out her smart dresses once more, and that the first words 



BARBARA'S MISDOINGS. 233 

she sliould hear, on] entering niiladi's presence, would touch on that 
attractive point. 

The Earl of Mount Severn returned to the Hotel des Ambassadcurs, 
dined, and slept there, and the following morning quitted it on his 
return to the pleasures and bustle of civilized life. And Lady Isabel 
remained in her chamber, alone. 

Alone ; alone ! Alone for evermore. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
Barbara's misdoings. 



A SUNNY afternoon in summer.. More correctly speaking, it may be 
said a summer's evening, for the bright beams were already slanting 
athwart the substantial garden of I\Ir. Justice Hare, and the tea-hour, 
seven, was passing. Mr. and Mrs. Hare and Barbara were seated at 
the meal. Somehow, meals always seemed in process at Justice Hare's. 
Barbara sat in tears, for the justice was giving her a " piece of his 
mind," and poor Mrs. Hare, agreeing with her husband (as she would 
have done had he proposed to set the house on fire and burn her up in 
it), yet sympathizing with Barbara, moved uneasily in her chair. 

Barbara had been giving mortal offence. Barbara had given the 
same offence occasionally for some years past ; she had just refused an 
eligible offer of marriage, and the justice w\as storming over it. In the 
abstract, it was of no moment whatever to Mr. Justice Hare whether 
his daughters pined and withered out their days as fading maidens, 
or whether they raced through life as bustling matrons. Neither, in 
the abstract, did the justice want Barbara away from the paternal 
home, or deem her an incumbrance within it : on the contrary, were 
Barbara absent, he might be at fault for a target at which to aim the 
arrows of his hard words. Neither had money anything to do with 
it : whether Barbara married or whether she remained single, she had 
an ample fortune, No the anger of Justice Hare at Barbara's refusing 
the offers made to her. had nothing to do with ordinary causes. 

How the world would get on v/ithout gossip. I will leave the world to 
judge. That West Lynne could not have got on without it, and with- 
out interfering in every one's business but its own, is enough for me. 
West Lynne had chosen to make a wonder of the fact that Barbara 
Hare should remain Barbara Hare. Of all the damsels indigenous to 
the soil, she, with her beauty, her attractive manners, and her fortune, 
had appeared the most likely one to be appropriated. And yet she was 
still Barbara Hare ! The gossips set their heads together to discover 
why she was neglected. Neij^lectcd they considered her, for Barbara 
was not one to talk of lost opportunities. The conclusion they came 
to was, that the unhappy crime attaching to her brother was the sole 
cause ; and, by some mishap, this nonsense reached the cars of Justice 
Hare. If the justice was sensitive upon one point, it was upon that 
which related to that dark and dreadful deed ; if he was bitter against 
any living being, it was against his miserable son. To have it said that 
Barbara remained single because no one would have her on account of 



234 - EAST LYNNE, 

her brother, was gall and wormwood to Justice Hare, for the disgrace 
seemed then to be reflected home on him and his. The justice would 
have liked to lift his foot and toss West Lynne into the nearest, and 
greenest, and muddiest of ponds ; he would have liked to pounce on 
Richard, and hand him over to the mercies of the county assize ; and 
he would have been glad to marry Barbara off hand, that that part of 
the scandal at any rate might be refuted. Therefore, when Barbara 
refused offer after offer (she had refused four now), it may readily be 
credited how greatly it aroused the ire of the justice. 

"You do it on purpose; you do it to anger me," thundered the 
justice, bringing down his hand on the tea-table, and causing the cups 
to rattle. 

" No, I don't, papa," sobbed Barbara. 
" Then why do you do it ? " 
Barbara was silent. 

" No ; you can't reply : you have nothing to say. What is the matter, 
pray, with Major Thorn ? Come, I will be answered." 
" I don't like him," faltered Barbara. 

" You do like him ; you arc telling me an untruth. You have liked 
him well enough whenever he has been here." 

'• I like him as an acquaintance, papa. Not as a husband." 
" Not as a husband ! " repeated the exasperated justice. " Why, bless 
my heart and body, the girl's going mad ! Not as a husband ! Who 
asked you to like him as a husband before he became such ? Did 
you ever hear that it was necessary, or expedient, or becoming for a 
young lady to set on and begin to ' like ' a gentleman as ' her 
husband ' ? " 

Barbara felt a little bewildered. 

" Here's the whole parish saying that Barbara Hare can't be married ; 
that nobody will have her on account of — of — of that cursed stain left 
by — I won't trust myself to name him ; I should go too far. Now don't 
you think that's a pretty disgrace, a nice state of things ? " 

" But it is not true," said Barbara ; " people do propose for me." 
" But what's the use of their proposing when you say ' No ' ? " raved 
the justice. "Is that the way to let the parish know that they propose ? 
You are an ungrateful, rebellious, self-willed daughter, and you'll never 
be anything else." 

Barbara's tears flowed freely. The justice gave a dash at the bell- 
handle, to order away the tea-things ; and after their removal the subject 
was renewed, together with Barbara's grief. That was the worst of 
Justice Hare. Let him take up a grievance (it was not often he had a 
real one) and he kept on at it, as a blacksmith hammering at his forge. 
In the midst of a stormy oration, Mr. Carlyle came in. 

Not much altered ; not much. A year and three-quarters had gone 
by, and they had served to silver his hair upon the temples. His 
manner, too, would never again be careless and light as it once had 
been. He was the same keen man of business, the same pleasant, 
intelligent companion : the generality of people saw no change in him. 
Barbara rose to escape. 

" No," said Justice Hare, ])lanting himself between her and the door : 
"that's the way you like to get out of my reach when I am talking to 



BARBARA'S MISDOINGS. 235 

you. You won't go ; so sit down again. I'll tell you of all your ill-conduct 
before Mr. Carlyle, and see if that will shame you." 

Barbara resumed her seat, a rush of crimson dyeing her cheeks. And 
Mr. Carlyle looked inquiringly, seeming to ask an explanation of her 
distress. The justice gave it after his own fashion. 

" \ ou know, Carlyle, that horrible blow that fell upon us, that shame- 
ful disgrace. Well, because the parish can't clack enough about the 
fact itself, it must begin upon Barbara, saying that the disgrace and 
humiliation are reflected upon her, and that nobody will come near her 
to ask her to be his wife. One would think, rather than lie under the 
stigma and afford the parish room to talk, she'd marry the first man 
that appeared, if it was the parish beadle — any one else would. But 
now, what are the facts ? You'll stare when you know them. She has 
received a bushel of good offers ; a bushel of them," repeated the justice, 
dashing his hand down on his knee, " and she says * No ' to all. The last 
was to-day, from Major Thorn, and my young lady takes and puts the 
stopper upon it, as usual, without reference to me or her mother, without 
saying with your leave or by your leave. She wants to be kept in her 
room for a week upon bread and water, to bring her to her senses." 

Mr. Carlyle glanced at Barbara. She was sitting meekly under the 
infliction, her wet lashes falling on her flushed cheeks and shading her 
eyes. The justice was heated enough, and had pushed his flaxen wig 
up in the warmth of his argument. 

'' What do you say to her ? " snapped the justice. 

" Matrimony may not have charms for Barbara," replied Mr. Carlyle, 
half jokingly. 

" Nothing has charms for her," growled Justice Hare. " She's one of 
the contrary ones. By the way, though," hastily resumed the justice, 
leaving the objectionable subject, as another flashed across his memory ; 
" they were coupling your name and matrimony together, Carlyle, last 
night at the Buck's Head." 

A very perceptible tinge rose to the face of Tslr. Carlyle, telling of 
inward emotion, but his voice and manner betrayed none. 

" Indeed," he carelessly said. 

" Ah, you are a sly one ; you are, Carlyle : remember how sly you 

were with your first " marriage. Justice Hare was going to bring out, 

but it suddenly occurred to him that, all circumstances considered, it 
was not precisely the topic to recall to Mr. Carlyle. .So he stopped 
himself in the utterance, coughed, and went on again. " There you go, 
over to Sir John Dobede's, fiot to see Sir John, but paving court to Miss 
Dobede." 

" So the Buck's Head was amusing itself with that ! '''good-humouredly 
observed Mr. Carlyle. "Well, Miss Dobede is going to be married, 
and I am drawing up the settlements." 

" Not she ; she marries young Somerset ; every one knows that. It's 
the other, Louisa. A nice girl, Carlyle." 

" Very,'' responded Mr. Carlyle, and it was all the answer he gave. 
The justice, tired of sitting indoors, tired, perhaps, of extracting nothing 
satisfactory from Mr. Carlyle, rose, set his wig aright before the looking- 
glass, and quitted the house on his usual evening visit to the Buck's 
Head. Barbara, who watched him down the path, saw that he encoun- 



236 EAST LYNNE. 

tered some one who happened to be passing the gate. She could not 
at first distinguish who it might be ; nothing but an arm and shoulder, 
cased in velveteen, met her view. But as their positions changed in 
conversation, she saw that it was Locksley, who had been the chief 
witness (not a vindictive one ; he could not help himself) against her 
brother Richard, touching the murder of Hallijohn. 

"What can be the matter with papa ? " exclaimed Barbara. " Locks- 
ley must have said something to anger him. He is coming in in the 
greatest passion, mamma : his face crimson, and his hands and arms 
working." 

" Oh dear, Barbara ! " was all poor Mrs. Hare's reply. The justice's 
great storms of passion frightened her. 

In he came, closed the door, and stood in the middle of the room, 
looking alternately at Mrs. Hare and Barbara. 

" What is this cursed report that's being whispered in the place ? " 
quoth he, in a tone of suppresed rage, but not unmixed with awe. 

"What report?" asked Air. Carlyle, for the justice waited for an 
answer, and Mrs. Hare seemed unable to speak. Barbara took care to 
keep silence : she had some misgiving that the justice's words might 
refer to herself, and the recent grievance. 

"A report that he — he — has been here, disguised as a labourer ! has 
dared to show himself in the place, where he'll yet come to the gibbet." 

Mrs. Hare's face turned white as death. Mr. Carlyle rose, and 
dexterously contrived to stand before her, so that it should not be 
seen. Barbara silently locked her hands, one within the other, and 
turned to the window. 

"Of whom do you speak? " asked Mr. Carlyle, in a matter-of-fact 
tone, as if he were putting the most ordinary question. He knew too 
well ; but temporized for the sake of Mrs. Hare. 

"Of whom do I speak?" uttered the exasperated justice, beside him- 
self with passion; " of whom should I speak but the bastard Dick? 
Who else in West Lynne is likely to come to a felon's death ? " 

" Oh, Richard ! " sobbed forth Mrs. Hare, as she sank back in her 
chair ; " be merciful ! He is our own true son." 

" Never a true son of the. Hares," raved the justice. "A true son of 
wickedness, and cowardice, and blight, and evil. If he has dared to 
show his face at West Lynne, I'll set the whole police of England upon 
his track, that he may be brought here as he ought, if he must come. 
When Locksley told me of it, just now, I raised my hand to knock him 
down, so infamously false did I deem the report. Y)o you know any- 
thing of his having been here ? " continued the justice to his wife, in a 
pointed, resolute tone. 

How Mrs. Hare would have extricated herself, or what she would 
have answered, cannot even be imagined, but Mr. Carlyle interposed. 

" You are frightening Mrs. Hare, sir. Don't you sec that the very 
report of such a thing is alarming her into illness? But — allow me to 
in(iuire what it may be that Locksley said." 

" I met him at the gate," returned Justice Hare, turning his attention 
upon Mr. Carlyle. " He was going by as I reached it. ' Oh, justice,' 
he began, ' I am glad I met you. There's a nasty report in the place, 
that Richard has been seen here. I'd see what I could do towards 



BARBARA'S MISDOINGS. 237 

hushing it up, sir, if I were you, for it may only serve to put the poh'ce 
in mind of bygone things, which it may be better they shosld forget.' 
Carlyle, I went, as I tell you, to knock him down ; I asked him how he 
could have the hardihood to repeat such slander to my face. He was 
on the high horse directly : said the parish spoke the slander, not he ; 
and I got out of him what it wa? he had heard." 

"And what was it.'"' interrupted Mr. Carlyle, more eagerly than he 
generally spoke. 

" Why, they say that the fellow showed himself here some time ago, 
a year or so, disguised as a farm labourer — confounded fools ! Not but 
that he'd have been the fool, had he done it." 

"To be sure he would," repeated Mr. Carlyle, "and he is not fool 
enough for that, sir. Let West Lynne talk, Mr. Hare . but do not you 
put faith in a word of its gossip. I never do. Poor Richard, wherever 
he may be " 

" I won't have him pitied in my presence," burst forth the justice. 
" Poor Richard, indeed ! Villain Richard, if you please." 

" I was about to observe that wherever he may be, whether in the 
backwoods of America, or digging for gold in California, or wandering 
about the United Kingdom, there is little fear that he will quit his 
place of safety, to dare the dangerous ground of West Lynne. Had I 
been you, sir, I should have laughed at Lockslcy and his words." 

" Why does West Lynne invent such lies ? " 

"Ah, there's the rub. I dare say West Lynne could not tell you 
why, if it were paid for doing so. But it seems to have been a lame 
story it has got up this time. If they must have concocted a report 
that Richard had been seen at West Lynne, why put it back to a year 
ago? why not have fixed it for to-day or yesterday ? If I heard any- 
thing more, I would treat it with the silence and contempt it deserves, 
justice." 

Silence and contempt were not greatly in the justice's line ; noise and 
explosion were more so. But he had a high opinion of the judgment 
of Mr. Carlyle ; and, growling a sort of assent, he once more set forth 
to pay his evening visit. 

" Oh, Archibald ! " uttered Mrs. Hare, when her husband was half 
way down the path, " what a mercy that you were here ! I should 
inevitably have betrayed myself." 

Barbara turned from the window. " But what could have possessed 
Locksley to say what he did ? " she exclaimed. 

" I have no doubt Locksley spoke with a good motive," said Mr. 
Carlyle. " He is not unfriendly to Richard, and thought, probably, 
that by telling Mr. Hare of the report, he might get it stopped. The 
rumour has been mentioned to me." 

Barbara shivered. " How can it have come to light ? " she breathed. 

" I am at a loss to know," said Mr. Carlyle. " The person to mention 
it to me was Tom Herbert. He met me yesterday, and said, 'What's 
this row about Dick Hare.?' 'What row!' I asked him. 'Why, 
that Dick was at West Lynne some time back, disguised as a farm 
l.ibourer.' — Just what Locksley said to Mr. Hare. I laughed at Tom 
Herbert," continued Mr. Carlyle ; "turned his report into ridicule, and 
made him turn it into ridicule also, before I had done with him." 



238 EAST LYNNE. 

" Will it be the means of causing Richard's discovery ? " murmured 
Mrs. Hare between her dry lips. 

" No, no," warmly responded Mr. Carlyle. " Had the report arisen 
immediately after he was really here, it might not have been so 
pleasant : but nearly two years have elapsed since the period. Be 
under no uneasiness, dear Mrs. Hare, for rely upon it there is no cause 
for it." 

Mrs. Hare sighed deeply, and left the room to proceed to her 
chamber. Barbara and Mr. Carlyle were alone. 

" Oh, that the real murderer could be discovered ! " she aspirated, 
clasping her hands. " To be subjected to these shocks is dreadful. 
Mamma will not be herself for days to come." 

" I wish the right man could be found ; but it seems as far off as 
ever," remarked Mr. Carlyle. 

Barbara sat ruminating. It seemed that she had something to say 
to Mr. Carlyle, but a feeling caused her to hesitate. When she did at 
length speak, it was in a low, timid voice. 

" You remember the description Richard gave, that last night — of 
the person he had met— the true Thorn ? " 

" Yes." 

" Did it strike you then — has it ever occurred to you to think — that 
it accorded with — with some one ? " 

"In what way, Barbara?" he asked, after a pause. " It accorded 
with the description Richard always gave of the man Thorn." 

" Richard spoke of the peculiar movement of throwing off the hair 
from the forehead — in this way. Did that strike you as being 
familiar to you — in connection with the white hand and the diamond 
ring?" 

" Many have a habit of pushing off their hair : I think I do it 
myself sometimes. Barbara, what do you mean? Have you a 
suspicion of any one ? " 

" Have you?" she returned, answering the question by asking 
another. 

" I have not. Since Captain Thorn was disposed of, my suspicions 
have not pointed to any one." 

This sealed Barbara's lips. She had hers ; certain vague doubts, 
bringing wonder more than anything else. At times she had thought 
the same doubts might have occurred to Mr. Carlyle. She now found 
that they had not done so. The tcrriljle domestic calamity which had 
happened to Mr. Carlyle the same night that Richard protested he had 
seen Thorn, had prevented Barbara from discussing the matter witl\ 
him tlien ; and she had never done so since. Richard had not been 
further heard of, and tlie affair had remained in abeyance. 

" I begin to despair of its ever being discovered," she observed. 
*' What will become of poor Richard ? " 

" The discovery that Tliorn was not the Thorn completely check- 
mated us," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" It would have done so, had Richard not seen the other." 

" I have had my doubts whether that was not, after all, a flight of 
Ricli.'ird's imagination. It is so extraordinary that he should meet 
the man by moonliglit, and that nothing should have been seen of 



BARBARA'S M1SDUL\GS. 239 

him at any other time ; before or after. Ri chard's mind was imbued 
with the thought and image of Thorn, and fancy may have conjured 
up his appearance in some ordinary passer-by." 

" That it never did ! " cried Barbara. " I wish I was as sure of 
heaven, as that Richard saw Thorn that night. You beheved it your- 
self at the time." 

" I did. His earnestness impressed me. But I had not time to 
reflect upon the facts. There was no one at West Lynne then, neither 
has there been since, to whom Richard's description could apply, 
Captain Thorn excepted." 

"At West Lynne — no," said ]5arbara. 

"We can but wait, and hope that time may bring forth its own 
solution," concluded Mr. Carlylc. 

" Ah, sighed Barbara, '• but it is weary waiting ; weary, weary ! " 

" How is it that you contri\-e to fall under the paternal displeasure .-" " 
he resumed, in a gayer tone. 

She blushed vividly, and it was her only answer. 

"The Major Thorn, alluded to by your father, is our old friend I 
presume ? " 

Barbara inclined her head. 

" He is a very pleasant man, Barbara. Many a young lady would 
be proud to have him." 

" Yes, he is a pleasant man," quietly answered Barbara, but she 
spoke in a tone that did not invite further discussion. 

Captain Thorn, in visiting the Herberts in times gone by, had been 
much struck with Barbara. Had his circumstances aliowcd it, he would 
then have solicited her to become his wife. Recently, he had acquired 
some property by inheritance, and had also been promoted a step in 
his profession. The first use he made of his case was to write both to 
Barbara and her father. Barbara declined his offer, as you have seen, 
and the justice would be quite sure not to let her hear the last of it for 
some time to come. 

" You will do all you can to quell this rumour touching Richard," 
she said to Mr. Carlyle. 

" Depend upon that. The less Richard's name is heard in West 
Lynne, the better. It puzzles me to know how it can have arisen." 

There was a pause. Barbara broke it : but she did not look at Mr. 
Carlyle as she spoke. " The other rumour : is it a correct one .'' " 

" What other rumour ? " 

" That you are about to marry Louisa Dobcde." 

" It is not. ■ I have no intention of marrying any one. Nay, I will 
say it more strongly : it is my intention not to marry any one ; to 
remain as I am." 

Barbara lifted her eyes to his in the surprise of the moment. 

" You look amazed, Barbara. No. She — who was my wife — lives." 

" What of that ? " uttered Barbara, in simplicity. 

He did not answer for a moment, and when he did, it was in a low 
tone, as he stood by the table at which Barbara sat, and looked down 
upon her. 

" ' Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, com- 
mitteth adulteiy.'" 



240 EAST LYNNE. 

And before Barbara could answer — if, indeed, she had found any 
answer to give — or had recovered her surprise, he had taken his hat 
and was gone. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

AN ACCIDENT. 

To return for a short time to Lady Isabel. As the year advanced she 
grew stronger, and in the latter part of the summer made preparations 
for quitting Grenoble. Where she would fix her residence, or what she 
would do, she knew not. She was miserable and restless, and cared 
little what became of her. The remotest spot on earth, one unpene- 
trated by the steps of civilized man, appeared the most desirable to 
her. Where was she to find this ? 

She set out on her search — she, the child, and a young peasant 
woman whom she had engaged as bonne ; for Susanne having a lover 
at Grenoble altogether declined to leave the place. All her luggage, 
except the things absolutely required. Lady Isabel had forwarded to 
Paris, there to be warehoused until she sent further directico_s. It 
was a lovely day when she quitted Grenoble. The train travelled 
safely until in the dusk of the evening they approached a place called 
Cammere, where Lady Isabel proposed to rest for a day or two. 
Railway accidents are less frequent in France than they are with us, 
but when they do occur they are wholesale catastrophes, the memory 
of which lasts for a lifetime. The train was within a short distance of 
the station when there came a sudden shock and crash as of the day 
of doom : and engine, carriages, and passengers lay in one confused 
mass at the foot of a steep embankment. The gathering darkness 
added to the awful confusion. 

The carriage in which Lady Isabel with her child and bonne 
travelled, lay beneath a superincumbent mass of ruins ; they were 
amongst the last passengers to be extricated. The botine and the poor 
baby were quite dead. Lady Isabel was alive and conscious, but so 
severely injured that the medical men who had been brought to the 
spot in all haste turned from her to give their attention to other 
sufferers whose case seemed less desperate — she heard them say that 
she would not survive amputation, and that nothing else could be done ; 
that she must die whether there was an operation or not. The in- 
juries lay in one leg, and the lower part of her face. She had not 
counted upon dying in this manner, and death in the guise of horrible 
suffering was not the abstract thing of release and escape which it 
had seemed, when she had wished for it as the end of all her wretched- 
ness. She was unable to move, but the shock had deadened sensation ; 
she was not yet in pain, and her mind was for a short interval prc- 
ternaturally clear and lucid. A Sister of Charity approached the 
stretcher on which she had been laid, and offered her some water. 
Isabel drank eagerly. 

" Is there ought else I can do .-' " asked the sister. 



AN ACCIDENT. 241 

" My baby and its nurse were with me in the carriage— tell me, have 
they been found ? Is my child killed ? " asked Isabel. 

The sister turned to gain intelligence, but the confusion and noise 
were so great that she could scarcely hope to ascertain anything with 
certainty. A poor little child, quite dead, but not much distigurcd, had 
been carried into the railway shed, and laid down not far from Lady 
Isabel. The sister took it tenderly up. 

"Was this your child?" said she, turning to Lady Isabel. "It is a 
little angel, and is beholding the face of its Father in heaven." 

It was the ill-starred child of Lady Isabel. She pressed its little face 
to her bosom, and her first feeling was a deep thankfulness that it had 
been so soon taken away from the evil to come. She believed she was 
to die also in the space of a tew hours, or less ; and the dull, apathetic 
indifference to all belonging to this life, which generally sets in with 
the approach of death, was stealing over her. She motioned to the 
sister to remove it, saying softly : 

" It is thus I w'ould have wished it to be." 

" Have you no message or instructions for your friends ? If you will 
trust me, I will fulfil your wishes. Whilst your mind is clear, it will be 
well to settle your duties towards those you are leaving behind." The 
sister had heard what the doctor said of Lady Isabel's condition. 

" All who ever knew me will rejoice to hear that I am no more," said 
Isabel. " My death will be the only reparation I can offer, for the 
grief and shame my life has brought on all who had the evil fortune to 
belong to me. You understand I have been a great sinner." 

"Try to accept death as a just recompense for your sins — make in 
this last moment an act of faith and obedience, by uniting your own 
will with His who sends this suffering ; it is then changed from the 
nature of punishment into a blessing. Our sorrows are the gifts of 
Almighty God, no less than our joys." 

" I will ; I have taken up my cross," said Lady Isabel faintly, for the 
pain of her injuries was beginning to make itself felt. 

" Can I write to any one for you ? " asked the sister, " tell me now, 
whilst you can think of it." 

" Have you paper and writing things at hand? Write then. Direct 

the letter first, to the Earl of Mount Stay ! " she interrupted, feeling 

how undesirable it was to make known her private affairs, even in that 
strange place. Besides, from the injury to her face, she could only 
speak with the greatest difficulty. " Could I not write a line myself? 
I think I could, if you will hold the paper before me : my hands are 
not injured ; my intellect is clear." 

The compassionate sister complied : and Lady Isabel contrived to 
scrawl a few words as she lay, first directing the letter to the earl's 
town house. They were to the effect that she was dying from the 
fatal injuries of the railway accident : that her baby was killed, and 
its nurse. She thanked Lord Mount Severn for all his goodness to 
her ; she said she was glad to die, to deliver him and all who belonged 
to her from the disgrace and shame she had been to them. " Go to 
Mr. Carlyle," she continued. " Say that I humbly beg him to forgive 
me ; that I also betj the forgiveness of his children when they shiill be 
old enough to know the crime I have committed against them. Tell 

Sasi L^ona. 16 



242 Ea.oT LYNNE. 

him I repent, and have repented bitterly — there are no words to 
express that bitterness." She had written so far, when the torture of 
pain, which had begun to make itself more and more felt, was becoming 
intolerable. Gathering her strength for a last effort, she wrote in cha- 
racters, such as those with which one on the rack might have signed 
his confession : " Forgive ; Isabel," and whispered : " Send it when I am 
dead ; not before : and add a few words of confirmation." 

When at length the surgeons came up to Lady Isabel, to examine 
more minutely the injuries she had sustained, she was quite insensible, 
and they thought she was dead. They said so to the sister, who was 
then kneeling beside her, repeating the prayers appointed for the 
passing soul. She finished them and retired to a distance, other 
sufferers claiming her services. She did not return to Lady Isabel, 
whom she fully believed to be dead ; and she despatched the letter, 
adding to it, as requested, some words of confirmation. The dead 
were buried, and a special mass was said for them. The survivors 
were sent to the hospital ; all that could be done lor them was done ; 
neither skill nor kindness being wanted. 

Lady Isabel recovered her consciousness, and found herself lying on 
a pallet in a ward in the hospital. It was long before she could recall 
what had happened, or understand that she had not died. The sur- 
geons, on further inspection, had found life still lingering in her 
shattered frame. The injuries were terrible enough, but not of neces- 
sity fatal, though the prospect of recovery was faint. It would have 
been cruel to resort to an operation with such slender chances of 
success, and they tried other means, which to the honour and glory 
of their skill, promised to succeed. Lady Isabel was still fluctuating 
between life and death ; but the tide began at length slowly to set in 
towards life. She remained three months in the hospital before she 
could be removed. The change that had passed over her in those 
three months was little less than death itself : no one could have 
recognized in the pale, thin, shattered, crippled invalid, she who had 
been known as Lady Isabel Vane. 

The letter was duly delivered at the town house of Lord Mount 
Severn, as addressed. The countess was sojourning there for a few 
days. She had quitted it after the season, but some business, or 
pleasure, had called her again to town. Lord Vane was with her, 
but the carl was in Scotland. They were at breakfast, she and her 
son, when the letter was brought in : eightpcnce to pay. Its strangely 
written address ; its foreign asjicct ; its appearance altogether, excited 
her curiosity : in her own mind she believed she had dropped upon a 
nice little conjugal mare's-nest. 

" I shall open this," cried she. 

"Why, it is addressed to papa!" exclaimed Lord Vane, who pos- 
sessed all his father's notions of honour. 

" But such an odd letter ! It may require an immediate answer : or 
is some begging petition, perhaps. (jO on with your breakfast." 

Lady Mount Severn opened the letter, and with some difficulty spelt 
through its contents. They shocked even her. 

" liow dreadful ! " she uUered, in the impulse of the moment. 

" What is dreadful ? " asked Lord \^anc, looking uj^, irom his breakfast. 



AN ACCIDENT. 243 

" Lady Isabel— Isabel Vane — you have not forgotten her ? " 

'* Forgotten her ! " he echoed. " Why, mamma, I must possess a 
funny memory to have forgotten her already ! " 

" She is dead. She has been killed in a railway accident in France." 

His large eyes, honest and true as they had been in childhood, filled, 
and his face flushed. He said nothing, for emotion was strong within 
him. 

" But, shocking as it is, it is better for her," went on the countess ; 
" for, poor creature ! what could her future life have been ? " 

" Oh, don't say it ! " impetuously broke out the young viscount. 
" Killed in a railway accident, and for you to say that it is better for 
her ! " 

" So it is better," said the countess. " Don't go into heroics, William. 
You are quite old enough to know that she had brought misery upon 
herself, and disgrace upon all connected with her. No one could ever 
have taken notice of her again." 

" I would," said the boy, stoutly. 

T.ady Mount Severn smiled derisively. 

" I would. I never liked anv one in the world half so much as I 
liked Isabel." 

' That's past and gone. You could not have continued to like her, 
after the disgrace she wrought." 

" Some one else wrought more of the disgrace than she did ; and^ 
had I been a man, I would have shot him dead," flashed the viscount. 

" You don't know anything about it." 

" Don't I," he returned, not ovcr-dutifully. But Lady Mount Severn 
had not brought him up to be dutiful. 

" May I read the letter, mamma ? " he demanded after a pause. 

" If you can read it," she replied, tossing it to him. " She dictated 
it when she was dying." 

Lord Vane took the letter to a window, and stayed looking over it for 
some time ; the countess ate an egg and a plate of ham meanwhile. 
Presently he came back with it folded, and laid it on the tabic. 

" You will forward it to papa to-day ? " he observed. 

" I shall forward it to him. But there's no hurry ; and I don't 
exactly know where your papa may be. I shall send the notice of her 
death to the papers ; and am glad to do it : it is a blight removed from 
the family." 

" Mamma, I do think you are the unkindest woman that ever 
breathed ! " 

" I'll give you something to call me unkind for, if you don't mind," 
retorted the countess, her colour rising. " Dock you of your holiday, 
and pack you back to school to-day." 

A few mornings after this, Mr. Carlyle left East Lynne, and pro- 
ceeded to his office as usual. Scarcely was he seated, when Mr. Dill 
entered, and Mr, Carlyle looked at him inc|uiringly, for it was not 
Mr. Carlyle's custom to be intruded upon by any one until he had 
opened his letters : then he would ring for Mr. Dill. The letters and 
the Times newspaper lay on his table before him. The old genticmau 
came up in a covert, timid sort of way, which made Mr. Carlyle looV. 
all the more. 



244 EAST LYNNE, 

" I beg your pardon, sir ; will you let me ask if you have heard any 
particular news ? " 

'• Yes, I have heard it," replied Mr. Carlyle. 

" Then, sir, I beg your pardon a thousand times over. It occurred 
to me that you probably had not, Mr. Archibald ; and I thought I 
would have said a word to prepare you, before you came upon it sud- 
denly in the paper." 

" To prepare me ! " echoed Mr. Carlyle, as old Dill was turning 
away. " Why, what has come to you, Dill ? Are you afraid my 
nerv-es are growing delicate, or that I shall faint over the loss of a 
hundred pounds ? At the very most, we shall not suffer beyond that 
extent." 

Old Dill turned back again. " If I don't believe you are speaking of 
the failure of Kent and Green ! It's not that, Mr. Archibald. They 
won't affect us much : and there'll be a dividend, report runs." 

" What is it, then ? " 

" Then you have not heard it, sir ' I am glad that I'm in time. It 
might not have been well for you to have seen it without a word of 
preparation, Mr. Archibald." 

"If you have not gone demented, you will tell me what you mean. 
Dill, and leave me to my letters," cried Mr. Carlyle, wondering exces- 
sively at his sober, matter-of-fact clerk's words and manner. 

Old Dill laid his hand upon the Times newspaper " It's here, Mr. 
Archibald, in the column of the deaths • the first on the list. Please 
prepare yourself a little, before you look at it." 

He shuffled out quickly, and Mr. Carlyle as quickly unfolded the 
paper. It was as old Dill said, the first on the list of deaths. 

"At Cammere, France, on the i8th inst., Isabel Mary, only child 
of William, late Earl of Mount Severn." 

Clients called; Mr. Carlyle's bell did not ring; an hour or two 
passed, and old Dill protested that Mr Carlyle was engaged, until he 
could protest no longer. He went in deprecatingly. Mr. Carlyle sat 
yet with the newspaper before him, and the letters unopened at his 
elbow. 

" There's one or two who will come in, Mr. Archibald, who ivill see 
you : what am I to sav .'' " 

Mr. Carlyle stared at him for a moment, as if his wits had been in 
the next world. Then he swept the newspaper from before him, and 
was the calm, collected man of business again. 

As the news of Lady Isabel's marriage had first come to the know- 
ledge of Lord Mount Severn through the newspapers, so, singularly to 
say, did the tidings of her death. The next post brought him the 
letter which his wife had tardily forwarded. But, unlike Lady Mount 
Severn, he did not take her death so entirely upon trust : he knew 
what mistakes arc often made in these reports from a distance, and he 
deemed it incumbent on him to make inquiries. He wrote immediately 
to tne authorities of the town (in the best French he could muster), 
asking for particulars, and whether she was really dead. 

He received, in due course, a satisfactory answer ; satisfactory in so 
far as that it set his doubts entirely at rest. He had inquired after 
her by her proper name and title, " La Dame Isabelle Vane,"andas the 



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR AT EAST LYNNE, 2^5 

authorities could find none of the survivors owning that name, they 
took it for granted she was dead. They wrote him word that the 
child and nurse whom he had mentioned were killed on the spot ; two 
ladies, who had occupied the same compartment of the carriage, had 
since died, one of whom was no doubt the mother, the lady he inquired 
for. She was dead and buried, and sufficient money had been found 
upon her person to defray the few necessary expenses. It will easily 
be understood that the lady of whom they spoke was one of those who 
had been in the same carriage as Lady Isabel's, and who had died. 

Thus, through no intention of Lady Isabel, news of her death went 
forth to Lord Mount Severn and to the world. Her first intimation 
that she was regarded as dead, was through a copy of that very day's 
Times, seen by Mr. Carlyle, seen by Lord Mount Severn. An English 
traveller, who had been amongst the sufferers, and lay in the hosjntal, 
received the English newspapers, and sometimes lent them to her to 
read. She was not travelling under her own name ; she left that 
behind her when she left Grenoble ; she had rendered her own too 
notorious to risk the chance recognition of travellers ; and the authori- 
ties did not suspect that the quiet, unobtrusive Madame Vine, slowly 
recovering at the hospital, was the Dame Isabelle Vane, respecting 
whom the great English Comte had written. 

Lady Isabel understood at once that the despatchingofher letter had 
been the foundation of the misapprehension ; and she began to ask 
herself now, why she should undeceive Lord Mount Severn and the 
world. She longed, none knew with what intense longing, to be 
unknown, obscure, unrecognized by all : none can know it, until they 
have placed a barrier between themselves and the world as she had 
done. She had no longer the child to support, she had only herself; 
and surely she could with ease earn enough for that : or she could 
starve : it mattered little \yhich. No, there was no neces-sity for her 
continuing to accept the bounty of Lord Mount Severn, and she would 
let him and every one else continue to believe that she was dead, and 
would be henceforth only Madame Vine. A resolution she adhered to. 

Thus the unhappy Lady Isabel's career was looked upon as run. 
Lord Mount Severn forwarded her letter to Mr. Carlyle, with the 
confirmation of her death, which he had obtained from the French 
authorities. It was a nine days' wonder : " That poor, erring Lady 
Isabel was dead" — people did not call her names in the ve:y teeth of 
her fate — and then it was over. 

It was over. Lady Isabel Vane was as one forgotten. 



CHAPTER XV. 

AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR AT EAST LYNNE. 

There went, sailing up the avenue to East Lynne, a lady one windy 
afternoon. If not a lady she was attired as one : a flounced dross, and 
a stylish shawl, and a white veil. A very pretty woman, tall and 
slender was she, and she minced as she walked, and coquetted with 
her head, and, altogether, contrived to show that she had quite as 



246 EAST LYNNE. 

much vanity as brains in her head. She went boldly up to the front 
entrance of the house, and boldly rang, drawing her white veil over her 
face as she did so. 

One of the men-servants answered it, not Peter ; and, seeing some- 
one very smart before him, bowed deferentially. 

" Miss Hallijohn is residing here, I believe. Is she within?" 

" Who, ma'am ? " 

" Miss Hallijohn ; Miss Joyce Hallijohn," somewhat sharply repeated 
the lady, as if impatient of any delay. " I wish to see her." 

The man was rather taken to. He had deemed it a visitor to the 
house, and was prepared to usher her into the drawing-room, at least ; 
but it seemed it was only a visitor for Joyce. He showed her into 
a small parlour, and went up to the nursery, where Joyce was sitting 
with Wilson — for there had been no change in the domestic depart- 
ment of East Lynne. Joyce remained as upper maid, partially super- 
intending the servants, attending upon Lucy, and making Miss Carlyle's 
dresses as usual. Wilson was nurse still. Miss Carlyle had once or 
twice begun upon the point of extravagance of keeping both Wilson 
and Joyce ; but Mr. Carlyle had wholly declined discussion upon the 
subject ; and somehow Miss Carlyle did not find him bend to her will 
as he once had done. 

" Mrs. Joyce, there's a lady asking for you," said the man. " I have 
shown her into the grey parlour," 

" A lady for me ? " repeated Joyce. " Who is it ? Some one to see 
the children, perhaps ? " 

" It's for yourself, I think. She asked for Miss Hallijohn." 

Joyce looked at the man : but she put down her work and proceeded 
to the grey parlour. A pretty woman, vain and dashing, threw up her 
Avhite veil at her entrance. 

" Well, Joyce ! How arc you ? " 

Joyce always pale, turned paler still, as she gazed in blank conster- 
nation. Was it really yl/y who stood before her ? — Afy the erring. 

Afy it was. And she stood there holding out her hand to Joyce 
with, what Wilson would have called, all the brass in the world. 
Joyce could not reconcile her mind to link her own with it. 

" Excuse me, Afy, but I cannot take your hand. I cannot welcome 
you here. What could have induced you to come ? " 

'' If you are going to be upon the high ropes, it seems I might as 
well have stayed away," was Afy's reply, given in the pert but good- 
humoured manner she had ever used to Joyce. " My hand won't 
damage yours. I am not poison." 

" You arc looked upon in the neighbourhood as worse than poison, 
Afy," returned Joyce, in a tone, not of anger, but of sorrow. " Where's 
Richard Hare ?" 

Afy tossed her head. " Where's who ? " asked she. 

" Richard Hare. My question was plain enough." 

"How should I know where he is.'' It's like your impudence to 
ment;on him to me. Why don't you ask me where Old Nick is, and 
how he does.? I'd rather own acquaintance with him than with 
Richard Hare, if I'd only my choice between the two." 

" Then you have left Richard Hare ! How long since ? " 



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR AT EAST LYNNE. 247 

"1 have left — what do you say?" broke off Afy, whose lips were 
quivering ominously with suppressed passion. " Perhaps you'll con- 
descend to explain. I odn't understand." 

"When you left here, Afy, did you not go after Richard Ilarc?— did 
you not join him ?" 

'' I'll tell you what it is, Joyce," flashed Afy, her face indignant and 
her voice passionate ; " I have put up with some things from you in 
my time, but human nature has its limits of endurance, and I won't 
bear that. 1 have never set eyes on R' 'hard Hare since that night of 
horror. I wish I could : I'd help to hang him." 

Joyce paused. The belief that Afy was with him had been long and 
deeply imbued within her ; it was the long-continued and firm con- 
viction of all West Lynne : and a settled belief is not easily shaken. 
Was Afy telling her truth .'' She knew her propensity for making false 
statements when they served to excuse herself. 

" Afy," she said at length, " let me understand you. When you left 
this place, was it not to share Richard Hare's flight? Have you not 
been living with him ? " 

" No," burst forth Afy, with kindling eyes. " Living \\ith ]ii)n ! 
with our father's murderer! Shame upon you, Joyce Hallijohn I you 
must be precious wicked yourself to suppose it." 

" If I have judged you wrongly, Afy, I sincerely beg your pardon. 
Not only myself, but the whole of West Lynne believed you were with 
him ; and the thought has caused me pain night and day." 

" What a cannibal-minded set you must all be, then ! " was Afy's 
indignant rejoinder. 

" Not one in the place but thought so, with the exception of Mr. 
Carlyle," proceeded Joyce. " He has said two or three times to me 
that he should not think you went after Richard Hare, or were living 
with him." 

" Mr. Carlyle has more sense than all the rest of West Lynne put 
together," complacently observed Afy. " Living with Richard Hare ! 
why, I'd rather go and live with a red Indian who goes about tattooed, 
and keeps sixteen Avives." 

" But, Afy, where did you go, then ? Why did you leave at all ? " 

" Never mind why. It was not to be supposed that I could stop at 
home in the cottage with ghosts and dreams and all those sort of things 
that attend a place where murder has been." 

" What have you been doing ever since ? Where ha\-e you been ? " 

" Never mind, I say," repeated Afy. *' West Lynne has not been so 
complimentary to me, it appears, that I need put myself out of my way 
to satisfy its curiosity. I knocked about a bit at first, but I soon settled 
down as steady as Old Time ; as steady as you are." 

" Are you married ?" inquired Joyce, noting the word "settled." 

'■ Catch me marrying," retorted Afy ; "■ I like my liberty too well. 
Not but what I might be induced to change my condition, if anything 
very eligible turned up : it must be very eligible, though, to tempt me. 
I am what I suppose you call yourself — a lady's maid." 

*' Indeed ! " said Joyce, much relieved. "And are you comfortable, 
Afy ? — are you in a good service ? " 

•' Middling for that. The pay's not amiss, but there's a great deal to 



248 EAST LYNNE. 

do, and her ladyship's a Tartar. I had a good one with an old lady ; 
a sort of companion I was to her, and stopped there till she died. 
What do you think ? She made me go in to prayers with her, and 
read the Bible night and morning." 

" How very glad I am to hear this ! " exclaimed Joyce. " It must 
have been so good for you." 

" Very," assented Afy ; and Joyce failed to detect the irony of her 
tone. " She had used to read a chapter, and I used to read a chapter, 
and then we went to prayers. Edifying, wasn't it ? " 

" Delightfully so, Afy. I am sure you must have profited by iu" 

" Law, yes : never doubt that. She left me thirty pounds when she 
died, over and above my salary. I used to like the Psalms best, 
because they were short and comforting." 

"So comforting!" echoed Joyce. "Afy, I shall love you and be 
proud of you again, as I was when you first came home to us." 

Afy laughed, a ringing laugh. " You and West Lynne always set me 
down for worse than I v/as. Though it poses me to imagine what on 
earth could have induced you to fancy I should go off with that Dick 
Hare," she added, for she could not forget the grievance. 

" Look at the circumstances," argued Joyce. " You both disappeared." 

" But not together ! " 

" Nearly together. There were only a few intervening days. And 
you had neither money nor friends." 

" You don't know what I had. But I would rather have died of want 
on my father's grave, than have shared his means," continued Afy, 
growing passionate again. " And you and the West Lynne idiots ought 
to have made sure of that." 

"If you had but dropped me a single line, Afy, it would have put 
a different aspect upon the whole affair. Your silence helped to mis- 
judge you." 

" Misjudge me, indeed ! Why, I never cared for Dick Hare. He 
was only half baked." 

" You encouraged him to the house." 

"Well — I don't deny it. He used to speak to me of marriage : and 
one would put up with a man not baked at all, to be made a real lady. 
Had I known he was to turn out as he did, I would have seen his coffin 
walk, before I'd ever have spoken to him. Where is he ? Not hung, 
or I should have heard of it." 

" He has never been seen since that night, Afy." 

" Nor heard of? " 

" Nor heard of. Most people think he is in Australia, or some other 
foreign land." 

" The best place for him ; the more distance he puts between him 
and home, the better. If he ever docs come back, I hope he'll get his 
deserts — which is a rope's end. I'd go to his hanging." 

"You are as bitter against ^him as Mr. Justice Hare. He would 
bring his son back to suffer, if he could." 

" A cross-grained old camel ! " remarked Afy, in allusion to the 
qualities, social and amiable, of the revered justice. " I don't defend 
iJick Hare, I hate him too much for that, but if his father had treated 
him differently, Dick might have been different also. Well, let's talk cf 



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR AT EAST LYNNE. 249 

something else ; the subject invariably gives me the shivers. Who is 
mistress here ? " 

" Miss Carlyle." 

" Oh, I might have guessed that. Is she as fierce as ever ? " 

" There is Htlle alteration in her." 

" And there won't be on this side the grave. I say, Joyce, I don't 
want to encounter her ; she might set on at me, as she has done many 
a time in the old days. Little love was there lost between me and 
Corny Carlyle." 

" You need not fear meeting her. She is away : gone to Lynne- 
borough for a week's visit." 

" That's good news for a rainy day ! Then, who acts as mistress 
while she's absent ? " 

" I give the orders," said Joyce. " Master interferes very little." 

" Will he marry again ? " went on Afy. 

" How can I tell ? There appears no probability of it at present. A 
few weeks or months ago, a rumour arose that he was to marry Miss 
Louisa Dobede ; but it died away again." 

" Louisa Dobede ! one of that ugly old baronet's daughters ? " 

"Yes. But Sir John Dobede is not ugly." 

" Not ugly ! why he has a nose as long as a foundry chimney. 
Well, one would think Mr, Carlyle had had enough of marrying." 

" Lady Isabel is dead," interrupted Joyce, hastily. 

" So is Queen Anne. What is the good of telling me news that all 
the world knows ? " 

"I reminded you that she was dead that. you might not speak 
against her," said Joyce. "Whatever may have been Lady Isabel's 
failings, they are buried in her grave." 

" Buried or not, their remembrance lasts," cried Afy ; " and you may 
as well try to stop the sun's shining, as to stop folks giving their 
opinions. East Lynne must have been well rid of her ! " 

Joyce put up her hand. "Afy, be silent ! You have no right so to 
speak of Lady Isabel ; you know nothing of the facts." 

" I know all the facts by heart," imperturbably rejoined Afy. " You 
may take your oath they were conned over and over by us at Lady 
Mount Severn's ? " 

Joyce looked at her in surprise. " What have you to do with Lady 
Mount Severn ? " 

" Well, that's good. It's where I am in service." 

"At Lady Mount Severn's ?" 

"Why not! I have been there two years. It is not a great deal 
longer I shall stop, though ; she has too much vinegar in her for me. 
It happened just after I went there, and she had a cousin visiting her, 
a Miss Levison, and the two were for ever talking of it." 

" But not in your presence ? " 

" I heard," significantly nodded Afy. " Heard just as much as they 
had to tell." 

" You must have listened at keyholes." 

" Perhaps I did," was Afy's cool response. " I had a fancy to hear 
the particulars ; and when I do make up my mind to know a thing, 
I don't let trifles stand in ray way. Tell me about her, Joyce." 



2SO EAST LYNNE. 

Joyce shook her head. "There's nothing much to tell. She was 
one of the sweetest ladies, one of the kindest mistresses " 

" Oh, I see," interrupted Afy, with ineffable disdain. " She was one 
of your angels." 

" Almost she was. Until that serpent came here to cross her path." 

" Manners ! manners ! " laughed Afy. " It's not polite to call names." 

" I could call him names for ever," warmly answered Joyce. " And 
so I would if it could bring him punishment. It will come home to 
him : mark my words." 

" Lady Mount Severn throws all the blame on her." 

" It is more than Lord Mount Severn does," angrily returned Joyce. 

" I could have told you that. He casts some share of it to Lady 
ISIount Severn. Sir Francis is her cousin, you know. Was she good- 
looking, Joyce ? " 

" Beautiful." 

"Better-looking than I am?" cried vain Afy, glancing at herself in 
an opposite mirror. 

" Oh, Afy ! how absurd you arc ! " 

"Many thanks. Because she was the Lady Isabel, and I am plain 
Afy Hallijohn, of course I can't be compared to her ! Everybody 
thinks they may lance shafts at me : but lady angels go wrong some- 
times, you see ; they are not universally immaculate. She must have 
been a queer angel, rather, to leave her children." 

"Afy, do you understand that this conversation is particularly dis- 
agreeable to me ! " cried Joyce with spirit. 

" It's a very disagreeable topic indeed, I should say," equably replied 
Afy. " She should not have acted so as to give rise to it. He soon 
tired of her, with all her beauty : he has tired — as it is said — of others. 
He is married now." 

" Yes," indignantly spoke Joyce, " and the wonder is, how any young 
lady, with a spark of delicacy or good feeling, could bring herself to 
marry so notorious a man." 

" Ladies don't dislike that sort of notoriety," said Afy, laughing at 
Joyce's reproving face. " That is, when the offenders are as handsome 
as he is." 

" You have seen him at Lord Mount Severn's ? " 

" Not I. I have seen him, but not there. Since the Carlyle affair, 
he dare not show his face within their doors : my lord would kick him 
out. What an awful thing that railway accident must have been ! " 

Joyce shuddered. " Ay, it was an awful death." 

"And quite a judgment upon her, I should say," went on Afy, pro- 
bably seeing that the style of conversation aggravated Joyce. 

Joyce would stand it no longer. " Listen, Afy : I loved my mistress, 
and I love her memory still, in spite of what has taken place. If you 
are to speak against her, it must be in some other house, for it shall 
not be in Mr. Carlyle's, where she was once so honoured." 

" Have it your own way," indifferently rejoined Afy. " She's gone to 
kingdom come, so it's not worth while disputing over it. Is Mr. 
Carlyle at home ? " 

" He will be home to dinner. I dare say you would like some tea : 
you shall come and take it with me and Wilson in the nursery." 



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR AT EAST LYNNE. 251 

" I was thinking you might have the grace to offer nic something," 
cried Afy. " I intend to stop till to-morrow in the neighbourhood : my 
lady gave me two days' holiday — for she was going to see her dreadful 
old grandmother, where she can't take a maid — and 1 thought I'd use 
it in coming to have a look at the old place again. Don't stare at me 
in that blank way, as if you feared I should ask the grand loan of a bed 
here. I shall sleep at the Mount Severn Arms." 

" I was not glancing at such a thought, Afy. Come and take your 
bonnet off." 

" Is the nursery full of children ?" 

" There's only one child in it. Miss Lucy and Master William are 
with the governess." 

Wilson received Afy with lofty condescension, having Richard Hare 
in her thoughts. But Joyce explained that it was all a misapprehension 
—that her sister had not been near Richard Hare, but was as indignant 
against him as they were. Upon which Wilson grew cordial and chatty, 
rejoicing in the delightful recreation her tongue would enjoy that evening. 

Afy's account of herself, as to past proceedings, was certainly not the 
most satisfactory in the world, but altogether, taking in the present, it 
was so great an improvement upon Joyce's conclusions, that she had 
not felt so elated for many a day. When Mr. Carlyle returned home, 
Joyce sought him, and acquainted him with what had happened. Afy 
had turned up ; was maid to Lady Mount Severn ; and, above all, that 
she had never been with Richard Hare. 

" Ah ! you remember what I said, Joyce," he remarked. " I did not 
believe Afy was with Richard Hare." 

" I have been telling Afy so, sir, and she says you have more sense 
than all West Lynne put together." 

Mr. Carlyle laughed. 

" A terrible way she was in, to be sure, when I informed her what 
people had believed," continued Joyce. " She almost went into one of 
her old passions." 

" Does she seem steady, Joyce .'' " 

" I think so, sir — steady for her. Before she took Lady Mount 
Severn's service, she was with an old lady, where she read her Bible 
and joined in prayers night and morning." 

" Afy at prayers ! " exclaimed Mr. Carlyle, a smile crossing his lips. 
" I hope they were genuine." 

" I was thinking, sir, that as she appears to have turned out so 
respectable, and is with Lady Mount Se\ern, you perhaps might sec 
no objection to her sleeping here for to-night. It would be better than 
for her to go to an inn, as she talks of doing." 

" None at all," replied Mr. Carlyle. " Let her remain." 

As Joyce returned to the nursery, Afy and Wilson were in the full 
flowing tide of talk. An unlucky sentence of Afy's caught Joyce's ears. 

" It's as true as you are there, Wilson. She bothered me all day 
long with her religion. I used to pick out the shortest psalm I could 
find, and when she asked me why, I said I did it that I might remember 
them. There's one with two verses in it ; I chose that as often as 
I dared. And then, down I had to go on my knees, and I used to wish 
my mistress and her prayers somewhere." 



252 EAST LYNNE. 

Joyce groaned in spirit, and thought of the words just spoken by Mr. 
Carlyle — he had hoped the prayers were genuine ! 

Later in the evening, after Mr. Carlyle's dinner, a message came that 
Afy was to go to him. Accordingly she proceeded to his presence. 

" So, Afy, you have returned to let West Lynne know that you are 
alive. Sit down." 

" West Lynne may go a-walking in future, sir, for all the heed I shall 
take of it," retorted Afy. " A set of wicked-minded scandalmongers, 
to take and say I had gone off after Richard Hare ! " 

" You should not have gone off at all, Afy." 

" Well, sir, that was my business, and I chose to go. I could not 
stop in the cottage after that night's work." 

" There is a mystery attaching to that night's work, Afy," observed 
Mr. Carlyle : " a mystery that I cannot fathom. Perhaps you can help 
me out with it." 

" What mystery, sir ? " returned Afy. 

Mr. Carlyle leaned forward, his arms on the table ; Afy had taken a 
chair at the other end of it. " Who was it that committed the murder ? " 
he demanded, in a grave and somewhat imperative tone. 

Afy stared some moments before she replied, evidently astonished at 
the question. " Who committed the murder, sir ? " she uttered at 
length. " Richard Hare committed it. Everybody knows that." 

" Did you see it done ?" 

" No," replied Afy. " If I had seen it, the fright and horror would 
have killed me. Richard Hare quarrelled with my father, and drew 
the gun upon him in his passion." 

" You assume this to have been the case, Afy, as others have assumed 
it. I do not think it was Richard Hare who killed your father." 

" Not Richard Hare !" exclaimed Afy, after a pause. "Then who 
do you think did it, sir ? I ? " 

" Nonsense, Afy." 

" I know he did it," proceeded Afy. " It is true that I did not see it 
done, but I know it, for all that. I know it, sir." 

" You cannot know it, Afy." 

" I do know it, sir ; I would not assert it to you if I did not. If 
Richard Hare were here present before us, and swore till he was black 
in the face that it was not he, I could convict him." 

" By what means ? " 

" I had rather not say, sir. But you may believe me, for I am 
speaking truth." 

" There was another friend of yours present that evening, Afy. 
Lieutenant Thorn." 

Afy's face turned crimson : she was evidently confused. But Mr. 
Carlyle's words and manner were authoritative, and she saw that it 
would be useless to attempt to trifle with him. 

" I know he was, sir. A young fellow, who used to ride over some 
evenings to sec mc. He had nothing to do with what occurred." 

" Where did he ride from ? " 

" He was stopping with some friends at Swainson. He waj noboay, 
sir." 

"What was his name?" questioned Mr. Carlyle. 



I 



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR AT EAST LYNNE. 253 

" Thorn," said Afy. 

" I mean his real name. Thorn was an assumed one." 

" Oh dear, no," returned Afy. " Thorn was his name." 

Mr. Carlyie paused and looked at her. 

"Afy, I have reason to believe that Tho/n was only an assumed 
name. Now, I have a motive for wishing to know his real one, and 
you would very much oblige me by confiding it to me. What was it .''" 

" I don't know that he had any other name, sir ; I am sure he had 
no other," persisted Afy. "He was Lieutenant Thorn then, and ho 
was Captain Thorn afterwards." 

" You have seen him since ? " 

" Once in a way we have met." 

" Where is he now ? " 

" Now ! Oh, my goodness, I don't know anything about him now ! " 
said Afy. " I have not heard of him or seen him for a long while. I 
think I heard something about his going to India with his regiment." 

" What regiment is he in ? " 

" I'm sure I don't know about that," said Afy. " Is not one regiment 
the same as another they are all in the army, aren't they, sir ? " 

" Afy, I must find this Captain Thorn. Do you know anything of 
his family ? " 

Afy shook her head. " I don't think he had any. I never heard 
him mention so much as a brother or a sister." 

" And you persist in saying his name was Thorn ! " 

" I persist in it because it was his name. I am positive it was his 
name." 

" Afy, shall I tell you why I want to find him ? I believe that it was 
he who murdered your father : not Richard Hare." 

Afy's mouth and eyes gradually opened, and her face turned hot and 
cold alternately. Then passion mastered her, and she burst forth. 

" It's a lie ! I beg your pardon, sir, but whoever told you that, told 
you a lie. Thorn had no more to do with it, than I had : I'll swear it." 

" I tell you I believe Thorn to have been the man. You were not 
present : you cannot know who actually did it." 

" Yes, I can and do know," said Afy, bursting into tears of hysterical 
passion. " Thorn was with me when it happened, so it could not have 
been Thorn. It was that wicked Richard Hare. Sir ! have I not 
said that I'll swear it ? " 

" Thorn was with you ! — at the moment of the murder ? " repeated 
Mr. Carlyie. 

" Yes, he was," shrieked Afy, nearly beside herself with emotion. 
"Whoever has been trying to put it off Richard Hare, and on to him, 
is a wicked, false-hearted wretch. It was Richard Hare and nobody 
else, and I hope he'll be hung for it yet." 

" You are telling me the truth, Afy ?" gravely spoke Mr. Carlyie. 

" Truth ! " echoed Afy, flinging up her hands. " Would I tell a lie 
over my poor father's death? If Thorn had done it, would I screen 
him, or shuffle it off to Richard Hare? No, no." 

Mr. Carlyie felt uncertain and bewildered. That Afy was sincere 
in what she said was but too apparent. He spoke again, but Afy had 
risen from her chair to leave. - . - ,. 



254 EAST LYNNE. 

" Locksley was in the wood that evening : Otway Bethel was in it. 
Could either of them have oeen the culprit ? " 

"No, sir," firmly retorted Afy ; " the culprit was Richard Hare ; 
and I'd say it with my latest breath, I'd say it because I know it — 
though I don't choose to say how I know it ; time enough when he 
gets taken." 

She quitted the room, leaving Mr. Carlyle in a state of puzzled 
bewilderment. Was he to believe Afy .'' or was he to believe the past 
assertion of Richard Hare ? 



CHAPTER XVI. 

A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNE. 

In one of the comfortable sitting-rooms at East Lynne sat Mr. Carlyle 
and his sister one inclement January night. The contrast within and 
without was great. The warm, blazing fire, the handsome carpet on 
which it flickered, the exceedingly comfortable arrangement of the 
furniture of the room, and the light of the chandelier which fell on all, 
presented a picture of home peace, though it may not have deserved 
the name of luxury. Without, heavy flakes of snow were falling 
thickly, rendering the atmosphere so dense and obscure, that a man 
could not see a yard before him. Mr. Carlyle had driven home in the 
pony-carriage, and the snow had so settled upon him, even in that 
short journey, that Lucy, who happened to see him as he entered the 
hall, screamed out laughingly that her papa had turned into a white 
man. It was now later in the evening ; the children were in bod, the 
governess was in her own sitting-room — it was not often that Miss 
Carlyle invited her to theirs of an evening— and the house was quiet. 
Mr. Carlyle was deep in the pages of one of the monthly periodicals ; 
and Miss Carlyle sat on the other side of the fire, grumbling, anil 
sniffing, and choking. 

Miss Carlyle was one of your strong-minded ladies, who never con- 
descend to be ill. Of course, had she been attacked with scarlet fever, 
or paralysis, or St. Vitus's dance, she must have given in to the enemy ; 
but trifling ailments, such as headache, influenza, sore-throat, which 
other people have, passed her by. Imagine, therefore, her exaspera- 
tion at finding her head heavy, her chest sore, and her voice going ; 
in short, at having, for once in her life, caught cold like ordinary 
mortals. 

" It was that ale," she groaned. 

"Ale ! " echoed Mr. Carlyle, lifting his eyes from his book. 

" Yes, the ale," she tartly proceeded. " Dear me, Archibald, you 
need not stare as if I had said it was the moon gave it me." 

" But how could ale give it you ? Unless you drank a great draught 
of it when you were in a state of perspiration." 

Miss Carlyle lifted her hands in pitying contempt for his ignorance. 

" You'll be a baby in common sense to the end of your life, Archi- 
bald. When do I drink great draughts of ale ? Bray, the last two 



A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNE. 255 

barrels that we have had in tap, has there not been, throughout, a 
complaint that the taps leaked ? " 

'• Well ? " said he. 

" Well, I knew the fault lay in putting in the taps in the first instance ; 
servants are such incapables. So, when Peter came to me after break- 
fast this morning, and said another barrel of ale had better be tapped, 
for that the one in hand was stooped yesterday : ' Very well,' said I, 
' I'll come and see to it myself! ' And down I went, out of these warm 
rooms, and the cellar struck like an ice-house, and I stopped in it for 
a good twenty minutes." 

" Does it take all that time to tap a barrel of ale .'' " 

" No, it doesn't take it when things are in order, but it does when you 
have to bother over the taps, rejecting one, rejecting another," responded 
Miss Carlyle, in a tone of exasperation. " And a pretty state that cellar 
was in ! not a thing in place. I had the cook down, and a sharp dress- 
ing I gave her. If her hams had been turned for three days, I'll eat 
them, uncooked as they arc ! And that's how I must have caught this 
cold." 

Mr, Carlyle made no observation. Had he told her that there was 
no need wliatever for her interference, that Peter was perfectly com- 
petent to perform his duties, she would only have flown at him. He 
became absorbed in his book again, while Miss Carlyle fretted and 
grunted, and drew her chair to the fire and pushed it back again, 
and made violent starts with her hands and feet : in short, performed 
all the antics of a middle-aged gentlewoman suffering under an attack 
of fidgets. 

" What's the time, I wonder ? " she exclaimed, by-and-by. 

Mr. Carlyle looked at his watch. " It is just nine, Cornelia." 

"Then I think I shall go to bed. I'll have a basin of arrowroot or 
gruel, or some slop of that sort, after I'm in it. I'm sure I have been 
free enough all my life from requiring such sick dishes ! " 

" Do so," said Air. Carlyle. " It may do you good." 

" There's one thing excellent for a cold in the head, I know. It's to 
double your flannel petticoat crossways, or any other large piece of 
flannel you may have at hand, and put it on over your nightcap : I'll 
try it." 

'' I would," said Mr. Carlyle, smothering an irreverent laugh. 

She sat on five minutes longer, and then left, wishing Mr. Carlyle 
good night. He resumed his reading. But another page or two con- 
cluded the article ; upon which Mr. Carlyle threw the book on the table, 
rose, and stretched himself, as if tired of sitting. 

He stirred the fire into a brighter blaze, and stood on the hearthrug. 
" I wonder if it snows still ? " he exclaimed to himself. 

Proceeding to the window, one of those opening to the ground, he 
partly drew aside the warm crimson curtain. It all looked dull and 
dark outside : Mr. Carlyle could see little what the weather was, and he 
opened the window and stepped half out. 

The snow was falling faster and thicker than ever. Not at that did 
Mr. Carlyle start with surprise, if not with a more unpleasant sensation ; 
but, at feeling a man's hand touch his, and finding a m.an's {.\ce almost 
in contact with his own. 



2S6 ■ EAST LYNNE. 

" Let me come in, Mr. Carlyle, for the love of life ! I see you are 
alone. I'm dead beat : and I don't know but I am dodged also." 

The tones struck familiarly on Mr. Carlyle's ear. He drew back 
mechanically ; a thousand perplexing sensations overwhelmed him ; 
and the man followed him into the room. A white man, as Lucy had 
called her father. Ay, for he had been hours and hours on foot in the 
snow : his hat, clothes, eyebrows, false whiskers, all were white. 
" Lock the door, sir," were his first words. Need you be told that it 
was Richard Hare? 

Mr. Carlyle fastened the window, drew the heavy curtain across it, 
and turned rapidly to lock the two doors ; for there were two to the 
room, one leading into the adjoining room. Richard, meanwhile, took 
off his wet smock-frock — the old smock-frock of former memory — his 
hat, and his false whiskers, shaking the snow from the latter with his 
hand. 

" Richard," uttered Mr. Carlyle, " I am thunderstruck. I fear you 
have done wrong to come here." 

" I cut off from London at a moment's notice," replied Richard, who 
was literally shivering with cold. " I'm dodged, Air. Carlyle ; I am 
indeed ; the police are after me, set on by that wretch. Thorn." 

Mr. Carlyle turned to the sideboard and poured out a wine-glass of 
brandy. " Take it, Richard ; it will warm you." 

" I'd rather have it in some hot water, sir." 

" But how am I to get hot water brought in ? Drink this now. Why, 
how you tremble ! " 

"Ah. A few hours outside in that cold snow is. enough to make the 
strongest man tremble, sir. And it lies so deep in some places that you 
have to come along at a snail's pace. But I'll tell you about this 
business. A fortnight ago, I was at a cab-stand at the West-end, talking 
to a cab-driver, when some drops of rain came down. A gentleman and 
lady were passing at the time, but I had not paid any attention to them. 
' By Jove ! ' I heard him exclaim to her, ' I think we are going to have 
pepper. We had better take a cab, my dear.' W^ith that, the man I 
was talking to swung open the door of his cab, and she got in — such 
a fair young girl ! I turned to look at him, and you might just have 
knocked me down with astonishment. Mr. Carlyle : it was the man 
Thorn." 

" Indeed ! " 

" You thought I might be mistaken in him that moonlight night ; but 
there was no mistaking him in broad daylight. I looked him full in the 
face, and he looked at me. He turned as white as a sheet : perhaps I 
did ; I don't know." 

" Was he well dressed ? " 

" Very. Oh, there's no mistaking his position. That he moves in the 
higher circles, is undoubted. The cab drove away, and I got up behind 
it. The driver thought boys were there, and turned his head and his 
wliip, but I made him a sign. We didn't go much more than the length 
of a street. I was on the pavement before Thorn was, and looked at 
him again ; and again he went white. I marked the house, thinking it 
was where he lived, and, and " 

" Why did you not give him into custody, Richard ? " 



A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNE. 257 

Richard shook his head. " And my proofs of his guilt, Mr. Carlyle ? 
I could bring none against him : no positive proofs. No, I must wait 
till I can get proofs, to do that. He would turn round upon me now, 
and swear my life away, to render his secure ; perhaps say that he saw 
me commit the murder. Well, 1 thought I'd ascertain for certain what 
his name was, and that night I went to the house and got into conver- 
sation with one of the servants, who was standing at the doGr. ' Does 
Captain Thorn live here ? ' I asked him. ' Mr. Westerby lives here,' 
said he ; ' I don't know any Captain Thorn.' Then that's his name, 
thought I to myself. ' A youngish man, isn't he 1 very smart, with a 
pretty wife ? ' 'I don't know what you call youngish,' he laughed, ' my 
master's turned sixty, and his wife's as old.' That checked me. ' Per- 
haps he has sons.'" I asked. 'Not any,' the man answered ; 'there's 
nobody but their two selves.' So, with that, I told him what I wanted 
— that a lady and gentleman had alighted there in a cab that day, and 
I wished to know his name. Well, Mr. Carlyle, I could get at nothing 
satisfactory ; the fellow said a great many had called there that day, 
for his master was just up from a long illness, and people came to see 
him." 

"Is this all, Richard?" 

"All! I wish it had been all. I kept looking about for him in all 
the better streets : I was half mad • " 

" Do you not wonder, if he is in this position of life and resides in 
London, that you have never dropped upon him before ? " interrupted 
Mr. Carlyle. 

" No, sir : and I'll tell you why. I have been afraid to show myself 
in those better parts of the town, fearing I might meet some I used 
to know at home who would recognize me ; so I have kept chiefly to 
obscure places : stables, and so forth. I had gone up to the West-end 
this day on a matter of business." 

" Well, go on with your story." 

" In a week's time I came upon him again. It was at night. He 
was coming out of one of the theatres, and I went up and stood before 
him. ' What do you want, fellow ? ' he asked. ' I have seen you 
watching me before this.' ' I want to know your name,' I said, ' that's 
enough for me at present.' He flew into a fierce passion, and swore 
that if he ever caught sight of me near him again, he would hand me 
into custody. 'And, remember, men are not given into custody for 
ikiatching others,' he significantly added. ' I know you, and if you have 
any regard for yourself, you'll keep out of my way.' He entered a 
private carriage as he spoke, and it drove away. I could see that it 
had a great coat-of-arms upon it." 

" When do you say this happened } " 

" A week ago. Well, I could not rest ; I was half mad, I say, and I 
went about still, trying if I could not discover his name and who he 
was. I did come upon him once : but he was walking quickly, arm in 
arm with — another man. Again I saw him standing at the entrance to 
Tattersall's, talking to the same man ; and his face turned savage — I 
believe with fear as much as with anger — when he saw me. He seemed 
to hesitate, and then— as if acting in a passion— suddenly beckoned to 
^ pohceman, pointed me out, and said something to hira in a quick 
^astLync*. 17 



258 EAST LYNNE. 

tone. That frightened me, and I shppcd away. Two hours later, when 
I was in quite a different part of the town, in turning my head, I saw 
the same poHceman following me. I bolted under the horses of a 
passing vehicle, cut into turnings and passages, through into another 
street, and got up beside a cabman who was on his box, driving a fare. 
I reached my lodgings in safety, as I thought ; but, happening to glance 
into the street, there I saw the man again, standing opposite, and 
reconnoitring the house. I had gone home hungry, but this took all 
my hunger away from me. I opened the box where I kept my disguise, 
put it on, and got out by a back way. I have been pretty nearly ever 
since on my feet, coming here ; getting a lift only now and then." 

" But Richard, do you know that West Lynne is the very w^orst place 
you could have flown to? It has come to light that you were here 
before, disguised as a farm labourer." 

" Who the deuce betrayed that ? " ejaculated Richard. 

" I am unable to tell you ; I cannot even imagine. The rumour was 
rife in the place, and it reached your father's ears. That rumour may 
make people's wits sharper to know you in your disguise, than they 
otherwise might have been." 

" But what was I to do ? I was forced to come here first, to get a 
little money. I shall settle myself in some other big town, far away 
from London ; Liverpool, or Manchester perhaps ; and see what em- 
ployment I can get into ; but I must have something to live upon till I 
can find it. I don't possess a penny piece," drawing out his trousers- 
pockets for the inspection of Mr. Carlyle. " The last coppers I had, I 
spent in bread and cheese and half a pint of beer at mid-day, I had 
been outside that window for more than an hour, sir." 

" Indeed ! " 

"As I neared West Lynne, I began to think what I should do. It 
was of no use trying to catch Barbara's attention on such a night as 
this ; I had no money to pay for a lodging so I turned off here, 
hoping I might, by good luck, drop upon you. There was a little 
division in this window curtain ; it had not been drawn quite close ; 
and through it I could see you and Miss Carlyle. I saw her leave the 
room ; I saw you come to the window and open it, and then I spoke. 
Mr. Carlyle," he added, after a pause, " is this sort of life to go on with 
me for ever ? " 

" I am deeply sorry for you, Richard," was the sympathizing answer. 
" I wish I could remedy it." 

Before another word was spoken, the room door was tried, and then 
gently knocked at. Mr Carlyle placed his hand on Richard, who 
looked frightened out of his wits. 

" Be still ; be at ease, Richard ; no one shall come in. It is only 
Peter." 

Not Peter's voice, however, but Joyce's was heard, in response to 
Mr. Carlyle's demand of who was there. 

" Miss Carlyle has left her handkerchief downstairs, sir, and has sent 
me for it." 

" You cannot come in ; I am busy," was the answer, delivered in a 
clear and most decisive tone. 

" Who was it ? " quivered Richard, us Joyce was heard going away. 



A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNE. 259 

" It was Joyce." 

" What, is she here still ? Has anything ever been heard of Afy, 
sir ? " 

" Afy was here herself two or three months ago." 

" Was she .'' " said Richard, beguiled for an instant from the thought 
of his own danger. " What is she doing ? " 

" She is in service as a lady's-maid. Richard, I questioned Afy 
about Thorn. She protested solemnly to me that it was not Thorn 
who committed the deed ; that it could not have been he, for Thorn 
was with her at the moment of its occurrence." 

" It's not true," said Richard, " It was Thorn." 

" Richard, you cannot tell : you did not see it done." 

" I kno\v that no man could have rushed out in that frantic manner, 
with those signs of guilt and fear about him, unless he had been en- 
gaged in a bad deed," was Richard Hare's answer. " It could have 
been no one else" 

"Afy declares he was with her," repeated Mr. Carlyle. 

" Look here, sir : you are a clever man, and folks say I am not, but 
I can see things, and reason as well as others, perhaps. If Thorn were 
not Hallijohn's murderer, why should he be persecuting me? — what 
would he care about me t And why should his face turn livid, as it 
has done, each time he has seen my eyes upon him? Whether he 
committed the murder or whether he didn't, he must know that I did 
not, because he came upon me, waiting, as he was tearing from the 
cottage." 

Dick's reasoning was not unsound. 

" Another thing," he resumed. " Afy swore at the inquest that she 
was etlone when the deed was done : that she v/as alone in the wood at 
the back of the cottage, and knew nothing about it till afterwards. 
How could she have sworn she was alone, if Thorn was with her?" 

The fact had escaped Mr. Carlyle's memory in his conversation with 
Afy, or he would not have failed to point out the discrepancy, and to 
inquire how she could reconcile it. Yet her assertion to him had been 
most positive and solemn. There were difficulties in the matter which 
he could not reconcile. 

" Now that I have overcome my passion for Afy, I can see her faults, 
Mr. Carlyle. She'd no more stick at an untruth than she'd stick " 

A most awful thundering at the room door : loud enough to bring 
the very house down. No officers of justice, searching for a fugitive, 
ever made more noise. Richard Hare, his face turned white, his eyes 
starting, and his own light hair bristling with horror, struggled into his 
wet smock-frock, forced on his hat and its false whiskers, looked round 
in a bewildered manner for some cupboard or mouse-hole to creep into, 
and, seeing none, rushed to the fireplace and placed his foot on the 
fender. That he purposed an attempt at chimney climbing was 
evident, though how the iire would have agreed with him, poor Dick 
appeared completely to ignore. Mr. Carlyle drew him back, keeping 
his calm, powerful hand upon his shoulder, while certain sounds in an 
angry voice were jerked through the keyhole. 

" Richard, be a man ; put aside this weakness, this fear. Have I 
not told you that harm shall not come near you in my house ? " 



26o EAST LYNNE. 

"It may be that officer from London ; he may have brought Vialf a 
dozen more with him," gasped unhappy Richard. " I said they might 
have dodged me all the way here." 

"Nonsense. Sit down, and be at rest. It is only Cornelia : and 
she will be as anxious to shield you from danger as 1 can be." 

" Is it ? " cried relieved Richard. " Can't you make her keep out? " 
he continued, his teeth still chattering. 

" No, that I cannot, if she has a mind to come in," was the candid 
answer. " You remember what she was, Richard : she has not altered." 

Knowing that to speak on this side the door to his sister, when she 
was in one of her resolute moods, would be of no manner of use, Mr. 
Carlyle opened the door, dexterously swung himself through it, and 
shut it after him. There she stood ; in a towermg passion, too. 

But, a word, as to what brought her there. Miss Carlyle had gone 
up to bed, taking her cold with her, ordered her gruel, and forthwith 
proceeded to attire herself for the night, beginning with her head. Her 
day-cap off, and her nightcap on, of the remarkable form of which the 
reader once had the opportunity of taking the pattern, she next con- 
sidered about the flannel. Finding a piece some three yards square, 
she contrived to muffle it over all : but the process was long and 
difficult, for the tlannel was perverse. The result was such that I only 
wish her picture could have been taken, and placed in the British 
Museum. A pyramid rose on the crown of her head, and a couple of 
flannel corners flapped over her forehead , the sides resembled nothing 
so much as a judge's wig 

Now, during this ceremony — before settling on of the flannel orna- 
ment, or she could not have heard — it had struck Miss Carlyle that 
certain sounds, as of talking, proceeded from the room beneath, which 
she had just quitted. She possessed a remarkably keen sense of hear- 
ing : though, indeed, none of her faculties were wanting in the quality 
of keenness. The sei"vants. Joyce and Peter excepted, would not be 
convinced but that she must " listen " : but, in that, they did her m- 
justice. At first she believed her brother must be reading aloud to 
himself ; but she soon decided otherwise. " Who on earth has he in 
there with him''" said Miss Carlyle aloud. 

The head-dress arranged, she rang her bell. Joyce answered it= 

'" Who is with your master .'' " 

" Nobody, ma'am." 

*' But I say there is. I can hear talking." 

'• I don't think an) body can be with him," persisted Joyce. " And 
the walls of this house are too well built, ma'am, for sounds from the 
downstairs rooms to penetrate up here." 

"That's all you know about it," cried Miss Carlyle. " W'hen talking 
goes on in that room, there's a certain sound given out which does 
penetrate here, and which my ears have grown accustomed to. Go 
and see who it is. I believe I left my handkerchief on the table : you 
can bring it up." 

Joyce departed, and Miss Carlyle proceeded to take off her things ; 
her dress first, her silk petticoat next. She had arrived as far as the 
flannel petticoat when Joyce returned. 

*'Ye3, ma'am, some one is talking with master. I could not go 



A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNK 261 

in, for the door was bolted, and my master called out that he was 
busy." 

Food for Miss Carlyle. She, feeling sure that no visitor had come 
to the house, ran her thoughts rapidly over the members of the house- 
hold, and came to the conclusion that it must be the governess, Miss 
Manning, who had dared to closet herself with Mr. Carlyle. This 
unlucky governess was pretty, and Miss Carlyle had been cautious to 
keep her and her prettiness very much out of her brother's sight : she 
knew the attraction he would present to her vision, or to those of any 
other governess. Oh yes ; it was Miss Manning ; she had stolen in, 
believing that she, Miss Carlyle, was safe for the night ; but she'd just 
unearth my lady. And what in the world could possess Archibald i* — 1 
to lock the door ! 

Looking round for something warm to throw over her shoulders, 
catching up an article that looked as much like a green baize table- 
cover as anything else, and throwing it on, down stalked Miss Carlyle. 
And in this trim Mr, Carlyle beheld her when he came out. 

" Who have you got in that room .'' " she curtly asked. 

" It is some one on business," was his prompt reply. " Cornelia, you 
cannot go in." 

She very nearly laughed. " Not go in ! " 

" Indeed it is much better that you should not do so. Pray go back. 
You will make your cold worse, standing here." 

" Now I want to know whether you are not ashamed of yourself ?" 
she dehberately pursued. "You! a married man, with children in 
your house ! I'd rather have believed anything downright wicked of 
myself, than of you, Archibald." 

Mr. Carlyle stared. 

" Come ; I'll have her out. And out of this house she tramps to- 
morrow morning. A couple of audacious ones, to be in there with the 
door locked, the moment you thought you had got rid of me ! Stand 
aside, I say, Archibald : I will enter." 

Mr. Carlyle never felt more inclined to laugh. And to Miss Car- 
lyle's extreme discomposure, she, at this juncture, saw the governess 
emerge from the grey parlour, glance at the hall clock, and retire again. 

" Why : she's there ! " she uttered. " I thought she was with you." 

" Miss Manning locked in with me I Is that your mare's nest, Cor- 
nelia ? I think your cold must have obscured your reason." 

" Well, I shall go in all the same. 1 tell you, Archibald, that I will 
see who is there." 

"If you persist in going in, you must go. But allow me to warn you 
that you will find tragedy in that room, not comedy. There is no 
woman in it ; but there is a man ; a man who came in through the 
window, like a hunted stag ; a man upon whom a ban is set, and who 
fears the police are upon his track. Can you guess his name ? " 

It was Miss Carlyle's turn to stare now. She opened her dry lips to 
speak, but they closed again. 

" It is Richard Hare, your kinsman. There's not a roof in the wide 
world open to him this bitter night." 

She said nothing. A long pause of dismay, and then she motioned 
to have the door opened. 



262 EAST LYNNE. 

" You will not show yourself in — in that guise ? " 

" Not show myself in this guise to Richard Hare ? — whom I have 
whipped — when he was a child — ten times in a day I stand on cere- 
mony with him ! I dare say he looks no better than I do But it's 
nothing short of madness, Archibald, for him to come here.' 

He left her to enter, telling her to lock the door as soon as she was 
inside, and went into the adjoining room, which, by another door, 
opened to the one Richard was in. There he rang the bell. It was 
answered by a footman. 

" Send Peter to me." 

" Lay supper here, Peter, for two," began Mr. Carlyle, when the old 
servant appeared. "A person is with me on business. What have 
you in the house .'' " 

" Spiced beef, sir : some home-made pork-pies, and " 

" That will do," said Mr. Carlyle. " Put a jug of ale on the table, 
and everything likely to be wanted. And then the household can go 
to bed : we may be late, and the things can be removed in the morning. 
Oh — and, Peter, — none of you must come near the rooms, this or the 
next, imder any pretence whatever, unless I ring, for I shall be too 
busy to be disturbed." 

" Very well, sir. Shall I serve the ham also ? " 

" The ham ? " 

" I beg pardon, sir ; I guessed it might be Mr. Dill, and he is fond 
of our hams." 

" Ah, you were always a shrewd guesser, Peter," smiled his master, 
"He is fond of ham, I know. Yes, you may put it on the table. 
Don't forget the small kettle." 

The consequence of which little finessing on Mr Carlyle's part was, 
that Peter announced in the kitchen that Mr. Dill had arrived, and 
supper was to be served for two. " But what a night for the old 
gentleman to have trudged through on foot ! " ejaculated he. 

" And what a trudge he'll have of it back again, for it'll be worse 
then ! " chimed in one of the maids. 

When Mr. Carlyle returned to the other room, his sister and Richard 
Hare had scarcely finished staring at each other. Richard had no 
doubt seen many a fancifully attired lady in the class amidst whom he 
had recently lived, but he could scarcely have had the chance to meet 
one who equalled Miss Carlyle. Sure, two such guys never stood face to 
face ! She : black shoes, black stockings, a flannel petticoat that 
reached to her calves ; the nondescript shawl, which, to crown its other 
virtues, w'as finished off with jagged fringe ; and the unsightly head- 
dress that was like nothing else on earth I He : in fustian clothes, 
somewhat short of buttons ; the smock-frock half on j the battered hat 
and the bushy whiskers ; with the trembling hands and the white face 
of terror ! I have been at many a carnival abroad, but I assure you 
that I never saw amongst the maskers a couple equal to the spectacle 
those two would have presented, in a triumphal carnival car, say at 
Nice or Rome. 

" Please lock the door. Miss Cornelia," began poor shivering Dick, 
when he had feasted his eyes upon her. 

" The door's locked," "^napped she. " But what on earth brought you 
here, Richard .' You must be worse than mad." 



A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNE. 763 

" The Bow-street officers were after me in London," he meekly re- 
sponded, unconsciously using a term which had been familiar to his 
boyish years. " I had to cut away without a thing belonging to me ; 
without so much as a clean shirt." 

" They must be polite officers not to have been after you before," 
was the consolatory remark of Miss Carlyle. " Are you going to dance 
a hornpipe through th3 streets of West Lynne to-morrow, and declare 
yourself openly ? " 

" Not if I can help it," replied Richard. 

" You might just as well do that, if you come to West Lynne at all, 
for you can't be here now without being found out. There was a 
bother about your having been here before : I should like to know how 
it got abroad." 

" The life I lead is dreadful," cried Richard. " I might make up my 
mind to the work, though that's hard enough, after having been reared 
a gentleman ; but to be in exile, banned, disgraced, afraid to show my 
face in broad daylight amidst my fellow-men, in dread every hour that 
the sword may fall I I would almost as soon be dead, as continue to 
live such a life." 

" Well, you have no one to grumble at : you brought it upon your- 
self," philosophically returned Miss Carlyle, as she opened the door to 
admit her brother. " You would go hunting after that brazen hussy, 
Afy, you know, in defiance of all that could be said to you." 

" That would not have brought it upon me," said Richard. " It was 
through that fiend's having killed Hallijohn • that was what brought 
the ban upon me." 

" It's a most extraordinary thing, if any one else did kill him, that 
the fact can't be brought to light," retorted Miss Carlyle. " Here you 
tell a cock-and-bull story of some man having done it — some Thorn ; 
but no one ever saw or heard of him : at the time or since. It looks 
like a made-up story, Mr. Dick, to whiten yourself." 

" Made up ! " panted Richard, in agitation, for it seemed cruel to 
him, especially in his present frame of mind, to have any doubt cast 
upon his tale. " It is Thorn who is setting the officers upon me. I 
have seen him three or four times within the last fortnight." 

" And v.-hy did you not turn the tables, and set the officers upon 
him ? " demanded Miss Carlyle. 

" Because it would lead to no good. Where's the proof, except my 
bare word, that he committed the murder ? " 

Miss Carlyle rubbed her nose. " Dick Hare," said she. 

" Well ? " 

" You know you always were the greatest natural that ever was let 
loose out of leading-strings." 

" I know ; I was always told so." 

"And it's what you always will be. If I were accused of committing 
a crime, which I knew another had committed, and not myself, should 
I be such an idiot as not to give that other into custody, if I had the 
chance? If you were not in such a shivery, shaky state, I would treat 
you to a bit of my mind ; you may rely upon that." 

" He was in league with Afy at that period," pursued Richard ; "a 
deceitful, bad man ; and he carries it in his countenance. And he 



264 EAST LYNNE. 

must be in league with her still, if she asserts that he was in her 
company at the moment the murder was committed. Mr. Carlyle 
says she does ; that she told him so the other day when she was here. 
He never was ; and it was he, and no other, who did the murder." 

" Yes," burst forth Miss Carlyle, for the topic was sure to agitate 
her; " that brazen Jezebel did presume to come here ! She chose her 
time well : and may thank her lucky stars that I was not at home. 
Archibald — he's a fool, too ; quite as bad as you are, Dick Hare, in 
some things — actually suffered her to lodge here for two days ! A 
vain, ill-conducted hussy, given to nothing but finery and folly ! " 

" Afy said that she knew nothing of Thorn's movements now, 
Richard, and had not done so for some time," interposed Mr. Carlyle, 
allowing his sister's compliment to pass in silence. " She heard a 
rumour, she thought, that he had gone abroad with his regiment." 

" So much the better for her, if it is true that she knows nothing of 
him," was Richard's comment. " I can answer for it that he is not 
abroad, but in England." 

"And where are you going to lodge to-night ?" abruptly spoke Miss 
Carlyle, confronting Richard. 

" I don't know," was the broken-spirited answer. " If I lie down 
in a snow-drift and am found frozen in the morning, it won't much 
matter." 

" Was that what you thought of doing ? " returned Miss Carlyle. 

" No," he mildly said. " What I had thought of doing was to ask 
Mr. Carlyle for a few shillings, and then I can get a bed somewhere. 
I know a place where I shall be in safety, two or three miles from this." 

" Richard, I would not turn a dog out, to go two or three miles, on 
such a night," impulsively uttered Mr. Carlyle. " You must stay here." 

" Indeed I don't see how he is to get up to a bedroom ; or how a 
room is to be made ready for him, for the matter of that, without 
betraying his presence to the servants," snapped Miss Carlyle. And 
poor Richard Hare leaned his aching head upon his hands. 

But now, Miss Carlyle's manner was more in fault than her heart. 
Will it be credited that, before speaking the above ungracious words, 
before Mr. Carlyle had touched upon the subject, she had been casting 
about in her busy mind for the best plan of putting up Richard — how 
it could be accomplished. 

" One thing is certain," she resumed. " It will be impossible for you 
to sleep here without its ]:)cing known to Joyce. And I suppose you 
and Joyce are upon the friendly terms of daggers drawn, for she be- 
lieves you were the murderer of her father." 

" Let me disabuse her," interrupted Richard, his pale lips working as 
he started up. '' Allow me to see her and convince her. Mr. Carlyle, 
why did you not tell Joyce the truth ?" 

"There's that small room at the back of mine," said Miss Carlyle, 
returning to the practical part of the subject. " He might sleep there. 
But Joyce must be taken ii.to our confidence." 

"Joyce had better come in," said Mr. Carlyle. " I will say a word 
to her first." 

He unlocked the door and left the room. Miss Carlyle as jealously 
locking it again ; called to Joyce, and beckoned her into the adjoining 



A NIGHT INVASION OF EAST LYNNE. 265 

apartment. He knew that Joyce's faith in the guilt of Richard Hare 
was confirmed and strong : but he must uproot that belief, if Richard 
was to be lodged in his house that night. 

" Joyce," he began, '" you remember how thoroughly imbued with the 
persuasion you were, that Afy went off after Richard Hare, and was 
li\'ing with him. I several times expressed my doubts upon the 
point. The fact was, I had positive information that she was not with 
him, and never had been, though I considered it expedient to keep my 
information to myself You are convinced now that she was not 
with him ? " 

" Of course I am, sir." 

" Well, you see, Joyce, that my opinion would have been worth 
listening to. Now I am going to try to shake your belief upon another 
point ; and if I assure you that I have equally good grounds for doing 
so, you will believe me." 

" I am quite certain, sir, that you would state nothing but what is 
true ; and I know that your judgment is sound," was Joyce's answer. 

"Then I must tell you that I do not believe it was Richard Hare who 
murdered your father." 

" Sir/ " uttered Joyce, amazed out of her senses. 

" I believe Richard Hare to be as innocent of the murder as you or 
I," he deliberately repeated. " I have had grounds for this opinion, 
Joyce, for many years." 

" Then, sir, who did do it ? " 

" Afy's other lover. That dandy fellow, Thorn, as I firmly believe." 

" And you say you have grounds for this belief, sir ? " Joyce asked, 
after a pause. 

" Good grounds : and I tell you I have been in possession of them 
for years. I should be glad for you to think as I do." 

" But, sir, — if Richard Hare was innocent, why did he run away, and 
keep away ? " 

"Ah, why indeed ' it is that which has done the mischief His own 
weak cowardice was in fault ; he feared to return ; and he felt that he 
could not remove the odium of suspicion. Joyce, I should like you 
to see him, and hear his story." 

" There is not much chance of that, sir. I dare say he will never 
venture here again." 

" He is here now." 

Joyce looked up, considerably startled. 

" Here, in this house," repeated Mr. Carlyle. " He has taken shelter 
in it, and for the few hours that he will remain, we must extend our 
hospitality and protection to him, concealing him in the best way 
we can. I thought it well that this confidence should be reposed in 
you, Joyce. Come now, and see him." 

Considering that it was a subdued interview — it was certainly a 
confused one. Richard talking vehemently, Joyce asking question 
after question, IMiss Carlyle's tongue going as fast as theirs. The 
only silent one was Mr. Carlyle. Joyce could not refuse to believe 
protestations so solemn, and her suspicion veered round upon Captain 
Thorn. 

"And now about the bed," interjected Miss Carlyle, impatiently. 



266 EAST LYNNE 

" Where's he to sleep, Joyce ? The only safe room, that I know oi, 
will be the one through mine." 

" He can't sleep there, ma'am. Don't you know that the key of the 
door was lost last week, and we cannot open it." 

" So much the better. He'll be all the safer." 

" But how is he to get in ? " 

" To get in ? Why, through my room, of course. Does not mine 
open to it, stupid ? " 

" Oh, well, ma'am, if you would like hi..i to r;o through yours, that's 
different." 

"Why shouldn't he go through? Do you suppose I mind young 
Dick Hare ? N jt I, indeed," she irascibly continued. " I only wish he 
was young enough for me to flog him as I used to do, that's all : he 
deserves it as much as any one ever did, playing the fool as he has done, 
in all ways. I shall be in bed with curtains drawn, and his passing 
through won't harm me, and my lying there won't harm him. Stand 
on ceremony with Dick Hare I What next, I wonder.''" 

This point being settled, Joyce went to put sheets upon the bed, and 
Miss Carlyle returned to her own. Mr. Carlyle meanwhile took Richard 
in to supper, helped him abundantly, and made him comfortable. 
Under the influence of good cheer, a good fire, and a glass of hot 
brandy and water, which wound up the entertainment, Richard fell 
asleep in his chair. Not five minutes had he slept, however, when he 
started up, wild and haggard, beating off, as it were, some imaginary 
assailant. 

" It was not I ! " he uttered fearfully and passionately. " It is of no 
use to take me, for it was not I. It was another ; he who " 

'' Richard, Richard ! " soothingly said Mr. Carlyle. 

Richard cast his bewildered eyes on to the supper-table, the fire, Mr, 
Carlyle, all reassuring objects to look upon. " I declare, sir, I dreamt 
that they had taken me. What stupid things dreams are ! " 

At this moment there came a gentle knock at the door, and Mr. 
Carlyle opened it. It was Joyce. 

" The room is ready, sir," she whispered, " and all the household are 
in bed." 

" Then now is your time, Richard. Good night." 

He stole upstairs after Joyce, who piloted him through Miss Carlyle's 
room. Nothing could be seen of that lady, though something might be 
heard : one, given to truth more than politeness, might have called it 
snoring. Joyce showed Richard his chamber, gave him the candle, 
and closed the door upon hini. 

Poor hunted Richard ! good night to you ! 



CHAPTER XVII. 
BARBARA'S HEART AT REST, 



Morning dawned. The same dull weather, the same heavy fall of 
snow. Miss Carlyle took her breakfast in bed, an indulgence she had 
not favoured for ever so many years. Richard Hare rose, but remained 
in his chamber, and Joyce carried his breakfast in to him. 



BARBARA'S HEART AT REST. 267 

Mr. Carlylc entered whilst he was taking it. " How did you sleep, 
Richard ? " 

'• I slept well. I was so dead tired. What am I to do next, Mr. 
Carlyle ? The sooner I get away from this the better. I can't feel safe 
here." 

" You must not think of it before evening. I am aware that you 
cannot remain here, except for a few hours, as it would inevitably 
become known to the servants. You say you think of going to Liver- 
pool or Manchester?" 

" To any large town : they are all alike to me ; but one, pursued as I 
am, is safer in a large place than a small one." 

" I am inclined to think that this man, Thorn, only made a show of 
threatening you, Richard. If he be really the guilty party, his policy 
must be to keep all in quietness. The very worst thing that could 
happen for him, would be your arrest." 

" Then why molest me ? Why send an officer to dodge me ? " 

" He did not like your molesting him, and he thought he would 
frighten you. After that day, you would probably have seen no more 
of the officer. You may depend upon one thing, Richard : had the 
policeman's object been to take you, he would have done so : he would 
not have contented himself with following you about from place to 
place. Besides, when a detective officer is employed to watch a party, 
he takes care not to allow himself to be seen : now this man showed 
himself to you more than once." 

" Yes, there's a good deal in that," observed Richard. " For, to one 
in his class of life, the bare suspicion of such a crime, brought against 
him, would crush him for ever in the eyes of his equals." 

'• it is difficult to me, Richard, to believe that he is in the class of 
life you speak of," observed Mr, Carlyle. 

" There's no doubt about it ; there's none indeed. But that I did 
not much like to mention the name, for it can't be a pleasant name to 
you, I should have said last night who I have seen him walking with," 
continued simple-hearted Richard. 

Mr. Carlyle looked inquiringly. '"' Say on, Richard." 

" I have seen him, sir, with Sir Francis Levison : twice. Once he 
was talking to him at the door of the betting-rooms, and once they 
were walking arm in arm. They are apparently upon intimate terms." 

At this moment, a loud, angry voice was heard calling from the 
stairs, and Richard leaped up as if he had been shot. His door — not 
the one leading to Miss Carlyle's room — opened upon the corridor, and 
the voice sounded as if its owner were coming in with a bound. It 
was the voice of Mr. Justice Hare. 

" Carlyle, where are you ? Here's a pretty thing happened. Come 
down." 

Mr. Carlyle for once in his life lost his equanimity, and sprang to the 
door as eagerly as Richard could have done. He forgot that Joyce 
had said the door was locked and the key mislaid. As to Richard, he 
rushed on his hat and his whiskers, and hesitated between under the 
bed and inside the wardrobe. 

'■ Don't agitate yourself, Richard," whispered Mr. Carlyle : " there is 
no real danger. I will go and keep him safely." 



268 EAST LYNNE. 

But when Mr. Carlyle passed through his sister's bedroom, he found 
that lady had taken the initiative, and was leaning over the balus- 
trades, having been arrested in the process of dressing. Her clothes 
were on, but her nightcap was not off : little cared she, however, who 
saw her nightcap. 

" What on earth brings you up in this weather ? " began she in a 
tone of exasperation. 

" I want to see Carlyle. Nice news I have had ! " 

" What about ? Anything concerning Anne, or her family ? " 

"Anne be bothered ! " replied the justice, who was certainly, from 
some cause, in a furious temper. " It concerns that precious rascal, 
whom I am forced to call son, I am told he is here." 

Down the stairs leaped Mr. Carlyle, four at a time, wound his arm 
within Mr. Hare's, and led him to a sitting-room. 

" Good morning, justice. You had courage to venture up through 
the snow ! What is the matter ? you seem excited." 

" Excited ! " raved the justice, dancing about the room, first on one 
leg, then on the other, like a cat on hot bricks ; " so would you be 
excited, if your life were worried out, as mine is, over a wicked scamp 
of a son. Why can't folks trouble their heads about their own busi- 
ness, and let my affairs alone ? A pity but what he were hanged, and 
the thing done with 1 " 

" But what has happened ? " questioned Mr. Carlyle. 

" Why, this has happened," retorted the justice, throwing a letter on 
the table. " The post brought me this, just now — and pleasant infor- 
mation it gives me ! " 

Mr. Carlyle took up the note and read it. It purported to be from 
" a friend " to Justice Hare, informing that gentleman that his " criminal 
son " was likely to have arrived at West Lynne, or would arrive m the 
course of a day or so : and it recommended Mr. Hare to speed his 
departure from it, lest he should be " pounced upon." 

" This letter is anonymous ! '' exclaimed Mr. Carlyle. 

" Of course it is," stamped the justice. 

" The only notice / should ever take of an anonymous letter would 
be to put it into the fire," cried Mr. Carlyle, his lip curling with scorn. 

" But who has written it ? " danced Justice Hare. " And is Dick at 
West Lynne ? — that's the question I " 

"Now, is it hkcly that he would come to West Lynne?" remon- 
strated Mr. Carlyle. " Justice, will you pardon me if I venture to 
give you my candid opinion ? " 

" The fool at West Lynne : running into the very jaws of death. By 
Jupiter ! if I can drop upon him, I'll retain him in custody, and make 
out a warrant for his committal ! I'll have this everlasting bother over." 

" I was about to give you my opinion," quietly put in Mr. Carlyle. 
" I fear, justice, you bring these annoyances upon yourself." 

" Bring them upon myself.'' " ranted the indignant justice. " I ? Did 
I murder Hallijohn ? Did I fly away from the law? Am I in hiding, 
Beelzebub knows where ? Do I take starts, right down into my native 
parish disguised as a labourer, on purpose to worry my own father? 
Do I write anonymous letters? Bring them upon myself? Do I? 
That beats all, Carlyle." 



BARBARA'S HEART AT REST. 269 

"You will not hear me out. It is known that you are much exas- 
perated against Richard " 

" And if your son serves you the same when he is grown up, won't 
you be exasperated, pray ? " fired Justice Hare. 

" Do hear me. It is known that you are much exasperated, and that 
any allusion to him excites and annoys you. Now, my opinion is, 
justice, that some busybody is raising these reports, and writing these 
letters on purpose to annoy you. It may be some one at West Lynnc, 
very near us, for all we know." 

'• That's all rubbish," peevishly responded the justice, after a pause. 
" It's not likely. Who'd do it ? " 

" It is very likely : but you may be sure they will not give us a clue 
as to the ' who.' I should put that letter into the fire, and think no 
more about it. That's the only way to serve them. A pretty laugh 
they have had in their sleeve, if it is any one near home, at seeing you 
wade up here through the snow this morning ! They would know you 
were bringing the letter to consult me." 

The justice — in spite of his obstinacy, he was somewhat easily 
persuaded to a different view of things, especially by Mr. Carlyle — 
let fill his coat-tails, which had been gathered in his arms, as he stood 
with his back to the fire, and brought both his hands upon the table 
with force enough to break it. "If I thought that," he thundered; 
"if I could think it, I'd have the whole parish of West Lynne before 
me to-day, and commit them for trial." 

" It's a pity but that you could," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" Well, it may be, or it may not be, that that villain is coming here," 
he resumed. " I shall call in at the police-station, and tell them to 
keep a sharp look-out." 

" You will do nothing of the sort, justice," exclaimed Mr. Carlyle 
almost in agitation. " Richard is not likely to make his appearance 
at West Lynne ; but, if he did do so, would you, his own father, turn 
the flood upon him ? Not a man living, but would cry shame upon 
you. Yes, Mr Hare, they would. If other people shrink from telling 
>ou the truth, I do not. You have boasted that you would deliver 
Richard up, if he ever threw himself in your path ; and your unnatural 
harshness has been commented upon in no measured terms : it has, 
1 give you my word. But of course no one believed that you would 
really {/o it. You might take leave of your friends if you did. for you 
would find none willing to own you for one afterwards." 

" I took an oath I'd do it," said the justice. 

" You did not take an oath to go off to the police-station, upon the 
receipt of any despicable anonymous letter, or any foolish report, and 
s ly, ' I have news that my son will be here to-day : look after him.' 
Nonsense, justice ! let the police look out for themselves ; but don't 
you set them on." 

The justice growled, whether in assent or dissent did not appear, 
and Mr. Carlyle resumed. 

" Have you shown this letter to Mrs. Hare ? or mentioned it to her .' " 

" Not I. I didn't give myself time for that. I had gone down to the 
front gate, to see how deep the snow lay in the road, when the postman 
canie up ; so I read it as I stood there. I went in for mv coat and 



270 EAST LYNNE. 

umbrella to come off to you, and Mrs. Hare wanted to know where I 
was going in such a hurry ; but I did not satisfy her." 

" I am truly glad to hear it," said Mr, Carlyle. " Such information, 
as this, could not fail to have a dangerous effect upon Mrs. Hare. Do 
not suffer a hint of it to escape you, justice : consider how much 
anxiety she has already suffered." 

" It's partly her own fault. Why can't she drive the ill-doing boy 
from her mind ? " 

"If she could do so," said Mr. Carlyle, " she would be actnig against 
human nature. There is one phase of the question which you may 
possibly not have glanced at, justice. You speak of delivering your 
son up to the law : has it ever struck you that you would be delivering 
up at the same time your wife's life ? " 

" Stuff? " said the justice. 

" You would find it no ' stuff.' So sure as Richard is brought to 
trial, whether through your means or through any other, so sure will 
it kill your wife." 

Mr. Hare took up the letter, which had lain open on the table, 
folded it, and put it into its envelope. " I suppose you don't know the 
writing ? " he asked of Mr. Carlyle. 

" I never saw it before, that I remember. Are you returning home ? " 

" No, I shall go on to Beauchamp's and show him this, and hear 
what he says. It's not much farther." 

" Tell him not to speak of it, then. Beauchamp's safe, for his 
sympathies are with Richard — oh yes, they are, justice : ask him the 
question plainly if you like, and he will confess it. I can tell you more 
sympathy goes with Richard than is acknowledged to you. But I would 
not show the letter to any one but Beauchamp," added Mr. Carlyle : 
" neither would I speak of it." 

"Who can have written it? "repeated the justice. "It bears, you 
see, the London post-mark." 

" It is too wide a speculation to enter upon. And no satisfactory 
conclusion could come of it." 

Justice Hare departed. Mr. Carlyle watched him down the avenue, 
striding under his umbrella, and then went up to Richard. Miss 
Carlyle was sitting with him then. 

" I thought I should have died," spoke poor Dick. " I declare, Mr. 
Carlyle, my very blood seemed turned to water, and I thought I should 
have died with fright. Is he gone away, all safe ?" 

" He has gone, and all is safe." 

" And what did he want ? What was it he had heard of me ? " 

Mr. Carlyle gave a brief explanation, and Richard immediately set 
down the letter as the work of Thorn. "Will it be possible for me to 
sec my mother this time ? " he demanded of Mr. Carlyle. 

" I think it would be highly injudicious to let your mother know 
that you are here, or have been here," was Mr. Carlyle's answer. 
" She would naturally be inquiring into particulars, and when she 
came to hear that you were pursued, she would never have another 
moment's peace. You must forego the pleasure of seeing her this time, 
Richard." 

" And Barbara ! " 



BARBARA'S HEART AT REST. 271 

" Barbara might come and stay the day with you. Only " 

" Only what, sir? cried Richard, for Mr. Carlyle had hesitated. 

" I was thinking what a wretched morning it is for her to come 
cut in." 

" She would go through an avalanche, wade through mountains of 
snow, to see me," cried Richard eagerly ; " and be delighted to 
do it." 

" She always was a little fool," put in Miss Carlyle, jerking some 
stitches out of her knitting. 

" I know she would," observed Mr. Carlyle, in answer to Richard. 
" We will try and get her here." 

" She can arrange about the money I am to have, just as well as my 
mother could, you know, sir." 

" Yes. For Barbara is in receipt of money of her own now, and I 
know she would wish for nothing better than to apply some of it to 
you, Cornelia, as an excuse for getting her here, I must say to Mrs. 
Hare that you are ill, and wish Barbara to come for the day and keep 
you company. Shall I do so ? " 

" Say I am dead, if you like," responded Miss Corny, who was in one 
of her cross moods. 

Mr. Carlyle ordered the pony-carriage, and drove forth with John. 
He drew in at the Grove. Barbara and Mrs. Hare were seated to- 
gether, and looked surprised at the early visit. 

"Did you want Mr. Hare, Archibald? He is out. He went while 
breakfast was on the table, apparently in a desperate hurry." 

'' I don't want Mr. Hare. I want Barbara. I have come to carry 
her off." 

" To carry off Barbara ! " echoed Mrs. Hare. 

" Cornelia is not well. She has caught a violent cold, and wishes 
Barbara to spend the day with her." 

" Oh, Mr. Carlyle, I cannot leave mamma to-day. She is not well 
herself, and she would be so dull without me." 

'* Neither can I spare her, Archibald. It is not a day for Barbara to 
go out in." 

How could he manage to say a word to Barbara alone ? Whilst he 
deliberated, talking the while to Mrs. Hare, a servant arrived at the 
sitting-room door. 

'•The fishmonger's boy is come up, ma'am. His master has sent 
him to say that he fears there'll be no fish in to-day in anything like 
time. The trains cannot get up, with this weather." 

INIrs. Hare rose from her seat, to hold a conference at the door with 
her maid ; and Mr. Carlyle seized his opportunity. 

" Barbara," he whispered, " make no opposition. You vmst come. 
What I really want you for is connected with Richard." 

She looked up at him with a startled glance, and the crimson flew to 
her face. Mrs. Hare returned to her seat. " Oh, such a day ! " she 
shivered. " I am sure Cornelia cannot expect Barbara." 

'' But Cornelia does. And there is my pony-carriage waiting to take 
her before I go to the office. Not a flake of snow can come near her, 
Mrs. Hare. The large warm apron will be up, and an umbrella will 
shield her bonnet and face. Get your things on, Barbara." 



272 EAST LYNNE. 

" Mamma, if you would not very much mind being left, 1 should like 
to go," said I3arbara, with almost trembling eagerness. 

" But you would be sure to take cold, child." 

" Oh no, I can wrap up well." 

" And I will see that she comes home all right this evening," added 
Mr. Carlyle. 

In a few minutes they were seated in the pony-carriage. Barbara 
was burning to ask questions, but John sat behind them, and would 
have overheard. When they arrived at East Lynne, Mr. Carlyle gave 
her his arm up the steps, and took her into the breakfast-room. 

" Will you prepare yourself for a surprise, Barbara ? " 

Suspense — fear- — had turned her very pale. " Something has hap- 
pened to Richard ! " she uttered. 

" Nothing that need agitate you. He is here." 

"Here! Where?" 

" Here. Under this roof. He slept here last night." 

" Oh, Archibald ! " 

" Only fancy, Barbara ! I opened the window at nine last night, 
to look at the weather, and in burst Richard, We could not let him 
go out again in the snow ; so he slept here, in that room next 
Cornelia's." 

" Does she know of it ? " 

" Of course. And Joyce also : we were obliged to tell Joyce. 
Imagine Richard's fear! Your father came this morning, calhng up 
the stairs after me, saying he heard Richard was here. He meant at 
W^cst Lynne. I thought Richard would have gone out of his mind 
with terror." 

A few more explanations, and Mr. Carlyle took Barbara into the 
room, Miss Carlyle and her knitting still keeping Richard company. 
In fact, that was to be the general sitting-room for the day ; and a hot 
kmcheon, Richard's dinner, would be served in Miss Carlyle's chamber 
at one o'clock, Joyce only admitted to wait upon them. 

" And now I must go," said Mr. Carlyle, after chatting a few minutes. 
*' The office is waiting for me, and my poor ponies are in the snow." 

" But you'll be sure to be home early, Mr. Carlyle ! " said Richard. 
" I dare not stop here : I must be off not a moment later than six or 
seven o'clock." 

" I will be home, Richard." 

Anxiously did Richard and Barbara consult that day, Miss Carlyle 
of course putting in her word. Over and over again did Barbara ask 
particulars of the sliglit interviews Richard had had with Thorn ; over 
and over again did she openly speculate upon what his name really was. 
" If you could only discover some one whom he knows, and inquire 
it ! " she exclaimed. 

" I have seen him with one person, but I can't inquire of him. They 
are too thick together, he and Thorn, and are birds of a feather also, 
I suspect. Great swells, both." 

" Oh, Richard, don't use those expressions. They are not suited to 
a gentleman." 

Richard laughed bitterly. " A gentleman ! " 

" Who is it you have seen with Thorn ! " inquired Barbara. 



BARBARA'S HEART AT REST. 2^3 

' "Sil- Francis Levison," replied Richard, glancing at Miss Carlyle, 
who drew in her lips ominously. 

" With whom ? " uttered Barbara, betraying complete astonishment. 
" Do you know Sir P'rancis Levison ? " 

"Oh yes, 1 know him. Nearly the only man about town that I do 
know." 

Barbara seemed lost in a puzzled reveriCj and it was some time before 
she roused herself from it. 

" Are they at all alike ? " she asked. 

" Very much so, I suspect. Both bad men." 

" But I meant in person." 

" Not in the least. Except that they are both tall." 

Again Barbara sank into thought. Richard's words had surprised 
her. She was aroused from it by hearing a child's voice in the next 
room. She ran into it, and Miss Carlyle immediately fastened the 
intervening door. 

It was little Archibald Carlyle. Joyce had come in with the tray 
to lay the luncheon, and before she could lock the door, Archibald ran 
in after her. Barbara lifted him in her arms to carry him back to the 
nursery. 

" Oh, you heavy boy ! " she exclaimed. 

Archie laughed. " Wilson says that," he lisped, " if ever she has to 
carry me." 

" I have brought you a truant, Wilson," cried Barbara. 

" Oh, is it you. Miss Barbara ? How are you, miss ? Naughty boy ! 
— yes ; he ran away without my noticing him — he can open the door 
now." 

" You must be so kind as to keep him strictly in, for to-day," continued 
Barbara, authoritatively. " Miss Carlyle is not well, and cannot be 
subjected to the annoyance of his running into her room." 

Evening came, and the time of Richard's departure. It was again 
snowing heavily, though it had ceased in the middle of the day. Money 
for the present had been given to him ; arrangements had been discussed. 
Mr, Carlyle insisted upon Richard's sending him his address, as soon 
as he should own one to send, and Richard faithfully promised to do so. 
He was in very low spirits, almost as depressed as Barbara, who could 
not conceal the tears which dropped in silence. He was smuggled down 
the stairs, a large cloak of Miss Carlyle's enveloping him, into the room 
he had entered by storm the previous night. Mr. Carlyle held the 
window open. 

"Good-bye, Barbara dear. If ever you should be able to tell my 
mother of this day, say that my chief sorrow was, not to see her." 

" Oh, Richard ! " she sobbed forth, broken-hearted, "good-bye. May 
God be with you and bless you ! " 

" Farewell, Richard," said Miss Carlyle : "don't you be fool enough 
to get into any more scrapes." 

Last of all, he wrung the hand of Mr. Carlyle. The latter went outside 
with him from an instant, and their parting was alone. 

Barbara returned to the chamber he had quitted. She felt that she 
must indulge in a few moments' sobbing : Joyce was there, but Barbara 
was trying when she entered. 

£Bf t Lyim*. 18 



274 EAST LYNNE. 

" It is hard for him, Miss Barbara ; if he is really innocent?"' 

Barbara turned her streaming eyes upon her. " If J Joyce, do you 
doubt that he is innocent ? '' 

" I quite beheve him to be so now, miss. Nobody could so solemnly 
assert what was not true. The thing at present will be to find that 
Captain Thorn."' 

" Joyce ! " exclaimed Barbara in excitement, seizing Joyce's hands, 
" I thought I had found him ; I believed, in my own mind, that I knew 
who he was. I don't mind telling you, though I have never before 
spoken of it : and with one thing or other this night I feel just as if 
I should die ; as if I must speak. I thought it was Sir Francis 
Levison." 

Joyce stared with all her eyes. " Miss Barbara ! " 

" I did. I have thought it ever since the night that Lady Isabel went 
away. My poor brother was at West Lynne then ; had come there for 
a few hours ; and he met the man, Thorn, walking in Bean-lane. He 
was in evening dress, and Richard described a peculiar motion of his, 
the throwing off his hair from his brow : he said his v.iiite hand and his 
diamond ring glittered in the moonlight. The white hand, the ring, the 
motion — for he was always doing it — all reminded me of Captain Levi- 
son, and from that hour until to-day I believed him to be the man 
Richard saw. To-day Richard tells me that he knows Sir P'rancis 
Levison, and that he and Thorn are intimate with each other. What 
I think now is, that this Thorn must have paid a flying visit to the 
neighbourhood that night, to assist Captain Levison in the wicked work 
he had on hand." 

" How strange it all sounds ! " uttered Joyce. 

" And 1 never could tell my suspicions to Mr. Carlyle ! I did not like 
to mention Francis Levison's name to him." 

Barbara returned downstairs. " I must be going home," she said to 
Mr. Carlyle. " It is half-past seven, and mamma will be uneasy." 

" Whenever you like, Barbara." 

" But can I not walk? I am so sorry to take out your ponies again, 
in this storm." 

Mr. Carlyle laughed. " Which would feel the storm most, you or the 
ponies ?" 

But when Barbara went out, she saw that it was not the pony- 
carriage, but the chariot that was in waiting for her. She turned 
inquiringly to Mr. Carlyle. 

" Did you think I should allow you to go home in an open carriage 
to-night, Barbara ? " 

" Are you coming also ? " 

" I suppose 1 had better do so," he smiled. " To see that you and 
the carriage do not come to harm." 

Barbara withdrew to her corner of the chariot, and cried silently. 
Very, very deeply did she mourn the unhappy situation, the privations, 
of her brother : and she knew that he was one to feel them deeply : 
he could not battle with the world's hardships as bravely as many 
others could have done. Mr. Carlyle only detected her emotion as 
t.hey were ncaring the Grove. He leaned forward, took her hand, and 
Held it between his. 



BARBARA'S HEART AT REST. 775 

*' Don't grieve, Barbara. Bright days may be in store for Richard 
yet." The carriage stopped. 

" You may go back," he said to the servants when he ahghted. " I 
shall walk home." 

" Oh," exclaimed Barbara, " I do think you intend to spend the 
evening with us ! Mamma will be so glad." 

Her voice showed that she was glad also. Mr. Carlyle drew her 
hand within his arm as they walked up the path. 

But Barbara had reckoned without her host. Mrs. Hare was in 
bed, consequently could not be pleased at Mr. Carlyle's visit. The 
justice had gone out, and she, feeling tired and not well, thought she 
would retire to rest. Barbara stole into her room, but found her 
asleep ; so that it fell to Barbara to entertain Mr. Carlyle. 

They stood together before the large pier-glass in front of the 
blazing fire. Barbara was thinking over the events of the day. What 
Mr. Carlyle was thinking of was best known to himself : his eyes, 
covered with their drooping lids, were cast upon Barbara. There was 
a long silence : at length Barbara seemed to feel that his gaze was on 
her, and she looked up at him. 

" Will you marry me, Barbara ? " 

The words were spoken in the quietest, most matter-of-fact tone, 
just as if he had said, Shall I give you a chair, Barbara ? But oh ! 
the change that passed over her countenance ! the sudden light of joy ; 
the scarlet flush of emotion and of happiness. Then it all faded to 
paleness and to sadness. 

She shook her head in the negative. " But you are very kind to ask 
me," she added in words. 

" W'hat is the impediment, Barbara ? " 

Another rush of colour as before, and a deep silence. Mr. Carlyle 
put his arm round her, and bent his face to a level with hers. 

" Whisper it to me, Barbara." 

She burst into a flood of tears. 

" Is it because I once married another?" 

" No, no. It is the remembrance of that night — you cannot have 
forgotten it, and it is stamped on my brain in letters of fire. I never 
thought so to betray myself. But for what passed that night, you 
would not have asked me now." 

" Barbara ! " 

She glanced up at him ; his tone was so painful. 

" Uo you know that I love you? that there is none other in the 
world whom I would cnre to marry, but you ? Nay, Barbara, when 
happiness is within our reach, let us not throw it away for a mere 
fancy." 

she cried more softly, leaning upon his arm. " Happiness ? Would 
it be happiness for you ? " 

" Gre.at and deep happiness," he whispered. 

She read truth in his countenance, and a sweet smile illumined her 
sunny features. Mr. Carlyle read its signs. 

" You love me as much as ever, Barbara ! " 

" Far more ; far more," was the murmured answer, and Mr. Carlyle 
held her closer, and drew her face fondly to his. Barbara's heart was 



276 EAST LYNNE. 

at length at rest ; and she had been content to remain where she was 
for ever. 

I And Richard? Had he escaped ? Richard was steahng along the 
road, plunging into the snow by the hedge, because it was more 
sheltered there than in the beaten path, when his umbrella came into 
contact with another umbrella. Miss Carlyle had furnished him with 
one : not to protect his battered hat, but to keep his face from being 
seen by the passers-by. The umbrella he encountered was an aristo- 
cratic silk one, with an ivory handle : Dick's was a democratic cotton, 
with hardly any handle at all ; and the respective owners had been 
bearing on, heads down and umbrellas out, until the umbrellas met 
smash, right under a gas-lamp. Aside went each umbrella, and the 
antagonists stared at each other, 

" How dare you, fellow ? Can't you see where you are going to ? " 
Dick thought he should have dropped. He would have given all 
the money his pockets held, if the friendly earth had opened and 
swallowed him up. For he, now peering into his face, was his own 
father. 

Uttering an exclamation of dismay, which broke from him involun- 
tarily, Richard sped away with the swiftness of an arrow. Did Justice 
Hare recognize the tones ? It cannot be said. He saw a rough, 
strange -looking man with bushy black whiskers, who was evidently 
scared at the sight of him. That was nothing ; for the justice, being 
a justice and a strict one, was regarded with considerable awe in the 
parish by those of Dick's apparent calibre. Nevertheless, he stood 
still and gazed in the direction, until all sound of Richard's footsteps 
had died away in the distance. 



CHAPTER XVI II. 

FROZEN TO DEATH IN THE SNOW. 

Tears were streaming down the face of Mrs. Hare. It was a bright 
morning after the snow-storm ; so bright that the sky was blue, and the 
sun was shining, but the snow lay deeply upon the ground. Mrs. Hare 
sat in her chair, enjoying the brightness, and Mr, Carlyle stood near 
her. The tears were of mingled joy and grief : of griel at hearing that 
she should at last have to part with Barbara ; of joy that she was going 
to one so entirely worthy of her as Mr. Carlyle, 

" Archibald, she has had a happy home here : you will render yours 
as much so ? " 

'' To the very utmost of my power." 

" You will be ever kind to her, ever cherish her ? " 

"With my whole heart and strength. Dear Mrs. Hare, I thought 
you knew me too well to doubt me." 

" Doubt you ! I do not doubt you : I trust you implicitly, Archibald. 
Had the whole world laid themselves at Barbara's feet, I should have 
prayed that she might choose you." 

A smile flitted over Mr, Carlyle's lips. He knew it was what 
"Barbara v;oulJ have done. 



FROZEN TO DEATH IN THE SNOW. 277 

" But, Archibald, what about Corneha ? " resumed Mrs. Hare. " I 
would not for a moment interfere in your affairs, or in the arrangments 
you and Barbara may agree upon : but I cannot help thinking that 
married people are better alone." 

"Corneha will quit East Lynne,"said Mr. Carlyle. "I have not 
yet spoken to her, but I shall do so now. I have long made up my 
mind that if ever I married again, I and my wife should live alone. It 
is said she interfered too much with my former wife : had I suspected it, 
Cornelia should not have remained in the house a day. Rest assured 
that Barbara shall not be subjected to the same chance." 

"How did you come over her?" demanded the justice, who had 
already given his gratified consent, and who now entered in his dressing- 
gown and morning wig. " Others have tried it on, and Barbara would 
not listen to any of them." 

" I suppose I must have cast a spell upon her," answered Mr. 
Carlyle, breaking into a smile. 

" Here she is. Barbara," cried the unceremonious justice, " what is 
it that you see in Mr. Carlyle more than in any one else ? " 

Barbara's scarlet cheeks answered for her. " Papa," she said, 
" Otway Bethel is at the door, asking to speak to you. Jaspar says he 
won't come in." 

" Then I'm sure I am not going out to him in the cold. Here, Mr. 
Otway, what are you afraid of .'' Come in." 

Otway Bethel made his appearance in his usual sporting costume. 
But he did not seem altogether at ease in the presence of Mrs. Hare 
and Barbara. 

" The colonel wished me to see you, justice, to ask if you had any 
objection to the meeting being put off from one o'clock till two," cried 
he, after nodding to Mr. Carlyle. " He has a friend coming to see him 
unexpectedly, who will leave again by the two o'clock train." 

" I don't care which it is," answered Mr. Hare. " Two o'clock will 
do as well as one for me." 

"That's all right, then, and I'll drop in upon Herbert and Pinner, 
and acquaint them with the change. Have you heard about the dead 
man being found ? " 

" What dead man ?" cried Justice Hare. 

"Some chap who must have missed his way last night : or who perhaps 
laid himself down overcome with fatigue. He was found this morning, 
frozen to death. I have seen him : he is lying in that hollow, just out 
of the road, as you turn down to Hallijohn's old cottage. I saw a lot 
of folks making for the place, so I went too." 

" Who is he ? " inquired Justice Hare. 

" A stranger, I think ; I didn't recognize his face. He is m a smock- 
frock ; a young man with a profusion of dark whiskers." 

" By George, but I shouldn't wonder but it's the fellow who last 
night nearly broke my umbrella ! " ejaculated the justice. " He wore a 
smock-frock, and looked young, and his whiskers were fierce enough 
for an Irishman's. I thought the fellow a little cracked. He came 
blundering along, his umbrella before him, seeing nothing, and ran 
right against me. I blew him up naturally ; but no sooner had he 
looked at me, than he uttered an exclamation of dismay, and made off 



2>8 EAST LYNNE, 

like a shot. I thought it curious. Perhaps it was the man you speak 
of, Mr. Otway ? " 

" I shouldn't wonder, sir." 

Mr. Carlyle glanced at Barbara. She had turned deadly white. 
He saw what was passing in her mind. Could it be the ill-fated 
Richard ? As Mr. Carlyle crossed the room to the door, he contrived 
to whisper a word to her in passing. 

" I v/ill go and see, and bring you back the news. Bear up, my 
darling." 

"Are you departing, Archibald?" said Mrs. Hare. 

" I am going to have a look at this man that Bethel talks of. Curious 
as any schoolgirl you see, still." 

He walked very quietly down the garden, and Barbara watched him 
from the gate. Hoiv should she bear the sickening suspense until he 
returned ? Something seemed to tell her fears that it was Richard. 
Otway Bethel departed ; and the justice, exchanging his wig and gown 
for a sprucer wig and coat, followed next : he, too, must have a look at 
the deceased. In a small place like West Lynne, every little event 
causes a stir and excites curiosity : what would not be noticed in a 
larger town, is there magnified into a wonder that all run after. 

Mr. Carlyle was the first to return. Barbara went to the porch, and 
waited ; had it been to save her life she could not have gone to meet 
him : the suspense was fearful. 

But, as he neared her, he smiled and nodded gaily, as if he would 
say. Fear not. Barbara's heart gathered a grain of courage from it ; 
but still it throbbed painfully. 

" We were falsely alarmed, Barbara," he whispered. " It is a complete 
stranger ; some poor man who did not know the road. He is not in the 
least like Richard, and his whiskers are red." 

For the moment she thought she should have fainted, so great was 
the relief. 

" But, Archibald, could it have been Richard, think you, who ran 
against papa — as he told us ? " 

" There is little doubt of it. The cry of dismay, when he recognized 
Justice Hare, and his speeding off, would betray that it was Richard." 

" And papa did not know him ! What a merciful escape ? " 

"Is the poor man quite dead, Archibald?" inquired Mrs. Hare, 
when he reached the sitting-room. 

" Quite. He seems to have been dead some hours." 

" Did you recognize him ! " 

" Not at all. He is a stranger." 

Miss Carlyle's cold was better that evening ; in fact, she seemed 
quite herself again, and Mr. Car!\'le introduced the subject of his 
.iiarriage. He began upon it after dinner. 

"Cornelia, when I married Lady Isabel Vane, you reproached me 
severely with having kept you in the dark " 

"If you had not kept me in the dark, but consulted me, as any other 
Christian would, the course of events might have been wholly changed 
and the wretchedness and disgrace, that fell on this house, would have 
been spared to it," fiercely interrupted Miss Carlyle. 

'' We will leave the past," he said, " and consider the future. I was 



FROZEN TO DEATH IN THE SNOW. 279 

about to remark, that I do not intend to fall under your displeasure 
for a similar offence. I believe you have never wholly forgiven it." 

" And never shall," cried she, impetuously. " I did not deserve the 
slight." 

" Therefore, almost as soon as I know it myself, I acquaint you with 
the fact. I am about to marry a second time, Cornelia." 

Miss Carlyle started up. Her spectacles dropped off her nose, and 
a knitting-box, which she happened to have on her knee, clattered to 
the ground. 

" \Vhat did you say ? " she uttered, aghast. 

" I am about to marry." 

" You ! " 

"I. Is there anything so verj'' astonishing in it ? " 

" For the love of common sense don't go and make such a fool of 
yourself! You have done it once : was not that enough for you, but 
you must run your head into the noose again ? " 

" Now, Cornelia, can you wonder that I do not speak to you of such 
things, when you meet them in this v.'ay ? You treat me just as you 
did when I was a child. It is very foolish." 

" When folks act childishly, they must be treated as children. I 
always thought you were mad when you married before, but I shall 
think you doubly mad now." 

" Because you have preferred to remain single and solitary yourself, 
is it any reason why you should condemn me to do the same .'' You 
are happy alone ; I should be happier with a wife." 

" That she may go and disgrace you, as the last one did ? " intempe- 
rately spoke Miss Carlyle, caring not a rush what she said in her 
storm of anger. Mr. Carlyle's brow flushed ; but he controlled his 
temper. 

" No," he calmly replied. " I am not afraid of that, in the one I 
have now chosen." 

Miss Corny gathered her knitting together ; he had picked up her 
box. Her hands trembled, and the lines of her face were working. It 
was a blow to her as keen as the other had been. 

" Pray who is it that you have chosen ? " she jerked forth. " The 
whole neighbourhood has been after yi u." 

"'Let it be who it will, Cornelia, you will be sure to grumble. Were 
I to say that it was a royal princess, or a peasant's daughter, you 
would equally see grounds for finding fault." 

" Of course I should. I know who it is — that stuck-up Louisa 
Dobcde." 

" No, it is not. I never had the slightest intention of choosing 
Louisa Dobcde ; nor she of choosing me. I am marrying to please 
myself; and, for a wife, Louisa Dobcde would not please me." 

"As you did before," sarcastically put in Miss Corny. 

" Yes ; as I did before." 

" Well, can't you open your mouth, and say who it is ? " was the 
exasperated rejoinder. 

" It is Barbara Hare." 

" Who ? " shrieked Miss Carlyle. 

" You are not deaf, Cornelia." 



28o EAST LYNNE. 

" Well, you are an idiot ! " she exclaimed, lifting up her hands and 
eyes. 

" Thank you," he said, but without any signs of irritation. 

" And so you are ; you are, Archibald. To suffer that girl who has 
been angling after you so long, to catch you at last." 

" She has not angled after me : had she done so, she would probably 
never have been Mrs. Carlyle. Whatever passing fancy she may have 
entertained for me in earlier days, she has shovv-n no symptoms of it of 
late years : and I am quite certain that she had no more thought or 
idea, that I should choose her for my second wife, than you that I 
should choose you. Others have angled after me too palpably, but 
Barbara has not." 

" She is a little conceited minx ; as vain as she is high." 

" What else have you to urge against her ? " 

" I would have married a girl without a slur upon her— if 1 must 
have married," aggravatingly returned Miss Corny. 

^' Slur ? " 

" Slur, yes ! Dear me, is it an honour — to possess a brother such as 
Richard ? " 

" That is no slur upon Barbara. And the time may come when it 
will be taken from Richard." 

Miss Corny sniffed. " Pigs may fly ; but I never saw them do so." 

" The next consideration, Cornelia, is about your residence. You 
will go back, I presume, to your own home." 

Miss Corny did not believe her own ears. " Go back to mine own 
home ! " she exclaimed. " I shall do nothing of the sort. I shall stop 
at East Lynne. What's to hinder me ? " 

Mr. Carlyle shook his head. " It cannot be," he said, in a low, 
decisive tone. 

" Who says so ? " she sharply asked. 

" I do. Have you forgotten that night — when she went away — the 
words spoken by Joyce ? Cornelia, whether they were true or false, I 
will not subject another to a similar chance." 

She did not answer. Her lips only parted and closed again. Some- 
how Miss Carlyle could not bear to be reminded of that revelation of 
Joyce's : it subdued even her. 

" I cast no reflection upon you," hastily continued Mr. Carlyle. 
" You have been mistress of a house for many years, and you naturally 
expect to be so still ; it is right that you should be. But two mis- 
tresses in a house do not answer, Cornelia : they never did and they 
never will." 

" Why did you not give me so much of your sentiments when I first 
came to East Lynne ? " she burst forth. " I hate hypocrisy." 

" They were not my sentiments then : I possessed none. I was 
ignorant of the subject, as I was of others. Experience has come to 
nie since." 

" You will not find a better mistress of a house than I have made 
you," she said resentfully. 

" I do not expect to do so. The tenants leave your house in March, 
do they not ? " 

" Yes^ they do," snapped Miss Corny. " But as we are on the subject 



FROZEN TO DEATH IN THE SNOW. 281 

of details, of ways and means, allow me to tell you that if you did 
what is right yoii would move into that house of mine, and I will go 
to a smaller — as you seem to think I shall poison Barbara if I re- 
mained with her. East Lynne is a great deal too fine and too grand 
for you." 

" I do not consider it so. I shall not leave East Lynne." 

"Are you aware that, in leaving your house, I take my income with 
me, Mr Archibald !" 

" Most certainly. Your income is yours, and you will require it for 
your own purposes. I have neither right to it, nor v>'ish for it." 

" The withdrawal will make a pretty hole in your income, I can tell 
you that. Take care that you and East Lynne don't go bankrupt 
together." 

Mr. Carlyle laughed. " I will take care of that, Cornelia. If I were 
not fully justified in living at East Lynne, I should not do so. With 
all my extravagance — as you are pleased to term it — I am putting by 
plenty of money, and you know it." 

" You might put by more, were your expenses less," rebuked Miss 
Carlyle. 

" I have no fancy to hve as a hermit, or a miser." 

" No ; nor as a man of common sense. To think that you should 
sacrifice yourself again ! " she wailed in a tone of lamentation. '' And 
to "Barbara Hare ! an extravagant, vain, upstart little reptile." 

Mr. Carlyle took the compliments to Barbara with composure. It 
was useless to do otherwise. Miss Corny was not likely to regard her 
with more graciousness since it was Barbara's coming there that turned 
herself out of East Lynne. 

At this moment the summons of a visitor was heard. Even that 
excited the ire of Miss Carlyle. " I wonder who's come bothering 
to-night ? " she uttered. 

Peter entered. " It is Major Thorn, sir. I have shown him into the 
drawing-room." 

Mr. Carlyle was surprised. He proceeded to the drawing-room, and 
Miss Carlyle rang for Joyce. Strange to say, she had no thought of 
rebelling against the decree. An innate consciousness had long been 
hers that, should Mr. Carlyle marry again, her sojourn in the house 
would terminate. East Lynne was Air. Carlyle's ; she had learnt that 
he could be firm upon occasions, and the tone of his voice had told that 
this was one of them. 

" Joyce," bei,an she, after her own unceremonious fashion, " your 
master is going to make a simpleton of himself a second time, so I shall 
leave him and East Lynne to it. Will you go with me, and be my upper 
maid again ? " 

" What, ma'am ? " exclaimed Joyce in bewilderment : '•' what did you 
say my master was going to do "t " 

" To make a simpleton of himself," irascibly repeated Miss Carlyle. 
" He is going to tie himself up again with a wife ; that's what he's going 
to do. Now, do you stop here, or will you go with me ? " 

" I would go with you, ma'am, but — but for one thing." 

« What's that ? " 

" The prom.ise I g'lve to Lady Isabel. She exacted it from me when 



282 EAST LYNNE. 

she thought she was about to die — a promise that I would remain with 
her children. She did not leave them by death after all : but it comes 

to the same thing." 

" Not exactly," sarcastically spoke Miss Carlyle. " But there's 
another side of the question, Joyce, which you may not have looked 
at. When there shall be another mistress at East Lynne, will you be 
permitted to remain here ? " 

Joyce considered : she could not see her way altogether clearly. 
" Allow me to give you my answer a little later," she said to Miss 
Carlyle. 

" Such a journey ! " Major Thorn was saying, meanwhile, to Mr. 
Carlyle. '' It is my general luck to get bad v/eather when I travel. 
Rain and hail, thunder and heat, nothing comes amiss, when I am out. 
The snow lay on the rails, I don't know how thick : at one station we 
were detained two hours." 

" Are you proposing to make any stay at West Lynne ? " 

" Off again to-morrow. My leave, this time, is to be spent at my 
mother's. I may bestow a week of it, or so, on West Lynne, but am 
not sure. I must be back in Ireland in a month. Such a horrid bog- 
hole we are quartered in just now ! The truth is, Carlyle, a lady has 
brought me here ! " 

" Indeed ! " 

" I am in love with Barbara Hare. The little jade has said ' No ' to 
me by letter ; but, as Herbert says, there's nothing like urging your 
suit in person. And I have come to do so." 

Mr. Carlyle took an instant's counsel with himself, and decided that 
it would be a good thing to tell the major the state of the case : far 
more kind than to subject him to another rejection from Barbara, and 
to suffer the facts to reach him by common report. 

" W' ill you shoot me, major, if I venture to tell you — that any second 
application to Barbara would be futile." 

" She is not appropriated, is she ? " hurriedly cried Major Thorn. 
" She's not married ? " 

" She's not married. She is going to be." 

" Oh ! That's just like my unlucky fate. And who is the happy man ? " 

" You must promise not to call me out, if I disclose his name." 

" Carlyle ! It is not yourself? " 

" You have said it." 

There was a brief silence. It was I\Ir. Carlyle who broke it. 

" It need not make us the less good friends, Thorn. Do not allow 
it to do so." 

The major put out his hand, and grasped Mr. Carlyle's. " No, by 
Jove, it shan't ! It's all fate. And if she must go beside mc, I'd 
rather see her yours than any oll.er man's upon earth. Were you 
engaged when I asked Barbara to be my wife, some months ago ?" 

" No. We have been engaged (/nly very recently." 

" Did Barbara betray to you t'l.it I asked her?" proceeded Major 
Thorn, a shade of mortification rising to his face. 

" Certainly not : you do not kii jw Barbara, if you fancy she could 
be guilty of it. The justice managed to let it out to me during an 
explosion of wrath." 



FROZEN TO DEATH IN THE SNOW. 283 

" Wrath because I asked for his daughter ? " 

" Wrath against Barbara, for refusing you. Not particularly at her 
refusing you," added Mr. Carlyle, correcting himself; "but she was 
in the habit of refusing all who asked her, and thereby fell under dis- 
pleasure." 

" Did she refuse you ? " 

*' No," smiled INIr. Carlyle ; " she accepted me." 

" Ah, well ; it's all fate, I say. But she is an uncommon nice girl, 
and I wish it had been my luck to get her." 

" To go from one subject to another," resumed Mr. Carlyle, " there 
is a question I have long thought to put to you, Thorn, if we ever met 
again. Which year was it that you were staying at Swainson ? " 

Major Thorn mentioned it. It w^as the year of Hallijohn's murder. 

"As I thought — in fact, knew," said Mr. Carlyle. " Did you, while 
you were stopping there, ever come across a namesake of yours, one 
Thorn ? " 

" I believe I did. But I don't know the man of my own knowledge, 
and I saw him once only. I don't think he was living at Swainson. 
I never observed him in the town." 

" Where did you meet with him ? " 

" At a roadside beer-shop, about two miles from Swainson. I was 
riding one day, when a fearful storm came on, and I took shelter 
there. Scarcely had I entered, when another horseman rode up, and 
lie likewise took shelter : a tall, dandified man, aristocratic and ex- 
clusive. When he departed — for he left first, when the storm was 
over — I asked the people who he was. They said they did not know, 
though they often saw him ride by : but a man who v/as in there, 
drinking, said he was a Captain Thorn. The same man, by the way, 
volunteered the information that he came from a distance, somewhere 
near West Lynne : I remember that." 

" That Captain Thorn did 1 " 

" No : that he himself did. He appeared to know nothing of Captain 
Thorn, bejond his name." 

It seemed to be ever so ! Scraps of information, but nothing 
tangible, nothing to lay hold of, or to know the man by. W^ould it 
be thus always ? 

" Should you recognize him again, were you to see him ? " resumed 
Mr, Carlyle, awaking from his reverie. 

" I think I should. There was something peculiar in his counte- 
nance, and I remember it well yet." 

" Were you by chance to meet him, and discover his real name — for 
I have reason to believe that Thorn, the one he went by then, was an 
assumed one — will you oblige me by letting me know it ? " 

" With all the pleasure in life," replied the major. " The chances 
are against it, though, contined as I am to that confounded sister 
country. Other regiments get the luck of being quartered in the 
metropolis, or near it : ours doesn't." 

When Major Thorn had departed, and Mr. Carlyle was about to return 
to the room in which he had left his sister, he was interrupted by Joyce. 

" Sir," she began, " Miss Carlyle tells me that there is going to be a 
change at East Lvnne." 



284 EAST LYNNE. 

The words took Mr. Carlyle by surprise. *' Miss Carlyle has lost 
no time in telling you ! " he remarked, a certain haughty displeasure in 
his tone. 

" It was not for the sake of telling me, sir, but I fancy she was 
thinking about her own plans. She inquired whether I would go with 
her when she left, or whether I meant to remain at East Lynne. I 
could not answer her, sir, until I had spoken to you." 

" Well ? " said Mr. Carlyle. 

" I gave a promise, sir, to — to— my late lady, that I would remain 
with her children so long as I was permitted : she asked it of me when 
she was ill ; when she thought she was going to die. What I would 
inquire of you, sir, is, whether the changes about to take place will 
make any difference to my staying ? " 

" No," he decisively replied. " I also, Joyce, wish you to remain 
with the children." 

" It is well, sir," Joyce answered ; and her face looked bright as she 
quitted the room. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

MR. DILL IN AN EMBROIDERED SHIRT-FRONT. 

It was a lovely morning in June, and all West Lynne was astir. West 
Lynne generally was astir in the morning, but not in the bustling 
manner that might now be observed. People were abroad in numbers, 
pressing down to St. Jude's Church, for it was the day of Mr. Carlyle's 
marriage with Barbara Hare. 

Miss Carlyle made herself into a sort of martyr. She would not go 
near it : fine weddings in fine churches did not suit her, she said ; they 
could tie themselves up together fast [enough without her presence. 
She had invited the little Carlyles and their governess and Joyce to 
spend the day with her ; and she persisted in regarding the children 
as martyrs too, in being obliged to submit to the advent of a second 
mother. She was back in her old house again, next door to the office, 
settled there for life now, with her servants. Peter had mortally 
offended her, in electing to remain at East Lynne. 

Mr. Dill committed himself terribly on the wedding morning, and 
lucky was he to escape a shaking, such as the one he had received on 
Mr. Carlyle's first marriage. About ten o'clock he made his appear- 
ance at Miss Carlyle's : he was a man of the old school, possessing 
old-fashioned notions, and he had deemed that to step in, to congratu- 
late her on the auspicious day, would be only good manners. 

Miss Carlyle was seated in her dining-room, her hands folded before 
her. It was rare indeod that she was caught doing nothing. She 
turned her eyes on Mr. Dill as he entered. 

" Why, what on earth has taken you ? " began she, before he could 
speak. " You are decked out like a young buck." 

" I am going to the wedding, Miss Cornelia. Did you not know it ? 
Mrs. Hare was so kind as to invite me to the breakfast, and Mr. Archi- 
bald insists upon n>y going to church. I am not too fine, am. I ?" 



MR. DILL IN AN EMBROIDERED SHIRT-FRONT. 285 

Poor old Dill's " finery " consisted of a white waistcoat with gold 
buttons, and an embroidered shirt-front. Miss Corny was pleased to 
regard it with sarcastic wrath. 

" Fine 1 " echoed she, " I don't know what you call it. I would not 
make myself such a spectacle for untold gold. You'll have all the 
ragamut^ns in the street forming a tail after you, thinking you are the 
bridegroom. A man of your years to deck yourself out in a worked 
shirt ! I would have had rosettes on my coat-tails, while I was about it." 

" My coat's quite plain. Miss Cornelia," he meekly remonstrated. 

" Plain ! what would you have it .'' " snapped Miss Corny. " Perhaps 
you would like a wreath of embroidery round it, gold leaves and scarlet 
flowers, with a swansdown collar.-' It would only be in keeping with 
that shirt and waistcoat. I might as well go off and order a white tar- 
latan dress, looped up with sweet peas, and stream through the town in 
that guise. It would be just as consistent." 

" People ought to dress a little out of the common at a wedding, 
Miss Cornelia : it's only respectful to do so when they are invited 
guests." 

" I don't say people should go to a wedding in a hop-sack. But 
there's a medium in all things. Pray do you know your age ? " 

" I am turned sixty, Miss Corny." 

" You just are. And do you consider it decent for an old man, 
turned sixty, to be decorated off, as you are now .? I don't ; and so I 
tell you my mind. Why, you'll be the laughing-stock of the parish ! 
Take care the boys don't tie a tin kettle to you ! " 

Mr. Dill thought he would turn the subject. His own impression 
was, that he was tiot too fine, and that the parish would not so regard 
him : still, he had a great reverence for Miss Corny's judgment, and 
was not altogether easy. He had had his white gloves in his hand 
when he entered, but he surreptitiously smuggled them into his pocket, 
lest they also might offend. He passed to the subject which had 
brought him thither. 

" What I came in for, was, to offer you my congratulations on this 
auspicious day, Miss Cornelia. I hope Mr. Archibald and his wife, 
and you, ma'am " 

" There ! you need not trouble yourself to go on," interrupted Miss 
Corny, hotly arresting him. " We want condolence here to-day, rather 
than the other thing. I'm sure I'd nearly as soon see Archibald go to 
his hanging." 

"Oh, Miss Corny !" 

" I would ; and you need not stare at me as if you were choking. 
What business has he to go and fetter himself with a wife again ? one 
would have thought he had had enough with the other. It is as I 
have always said : there's a soft place in Archibald's brain." 

Old Dill knew there was no "soft place" in Mr. Carlyle's brain, but 
he thought it might be as well not to say so, in Miss Corny's present 
humour. " Marriage is a happy state, as I have heard, ma'am, and 
honourable ; and I am sure Mr. Archibald " 

" Very happy I very honourable 1 " fiercely cried Miss Carlyle, sar- 
casm in her tone. " His last marriage brought him all that, did it 
not ? " 



286 EAST LYNNE. 

"That's past and done with, Miss Corny, and none of us need recall 
it. It brought him some happy years before that happened. I hope 
he will find in his present wife a recompense for what's gone : he could 
not have chosen a prettier or nicer young lady than Miss Barbara : 
and I am glad to my very heart that he has won her." 
. " Couldn't he ! " jerked Miss Carlyle. 

" No, ma'am, he could not. Were I young, and wanting a wife, 
there's not one in all West Lynne I would so soon look out for as Miss 
Barbara. Not that she'd have me ; and I was not speaking in that 
sense, Miss Corny." 

" It's to be hoped you were not," retorted Miss Corny. " She is an 
idle, insolent, vain fagot, caring for nothing but her own doll's face 
and for Archibald." 

" Ah, well, ma'am, never mind that : pretty young girls know they 
are pretty, and you can't take their vanity from them. She'll be a good 
and loving wife to him ; I know she will ; it is in her nature ; she won't 
serve him as — as — that other poor unfortunate did." 

" If I feared she was one to bring shame to him as that other did, 
I'd go into the church this hour and forbid the marriage ; and if that 
didn't do, I'd — I'd — smother her!" shrieked Miss Carlyle. "Look at 
that piece of impudence." 

The last sentence was uttered in a difterent tone, and concerned 
some one in the street. Miss Carlyle hopped off her chair and strode 
to the window. Mr. Dill's eyes turned in the same direction. 

In a gay summer's dress, fine and sparkling with a coquettish little 
bonnet, trimmed with pink, shaded by one of those nondescript 
articles at present called veils, which article was made of white 
spotted net, with a pink ruche round it, sailed Afy Hallijohn, conceited 
and foolish and good-looking as ever. Catching sight of Mr. Dill, 
she made him a flourishing and gracious bow. The courteous old 
gentleman returned it, and was pounced upon by Miss Corny for 
his pains. 

" Whatever possessed you to do that ? 

" Well, Miss Corny, she spoke to me ? You saw her." 

" I saw her ! yes, I did see her, the brazen bell-wether ! And she 
saw me, and spoke to you in her insolence. And you must answer 
her, in spite of my presence, instead of shaking your fist and giving her 
a reproving frown. You want a little sharp talking to, yourself" 

" But, Miss Corny, it's always best to let bygones be bygones," he 
pleaded. " She was flighty and foolish, and all that, was Afy ; but 
now that it's proved she did not go with Richard Hare, as was sus- 
pected, and is at present living creditably, why should she not be 
noticed a little ? " 

"If the very deuce himself stood there with his horns and tail, youi 
would find excuses to make for him," fired Miss Corny. " You are as- 
bad as Archibald ! Notice Afy Hallijohn ! when she dresses and flirts,, 
and minces, as you saw her but now ! What creditable servant would 
flaunt about in such a dress and bonnet as that.'' — with that flimsy 
gauze thing over her face ! It's as disreputable as your shirt-front." 

Mr. Dill coughed humbly, not wishing to renew the point of the- 
shirt-front. " She is not exactly a servant, Miss Corny, she's a lady's- 



MR. DILL IN AN EMBROIDERED SHIRT-FRONT. 287 

maid ; and ladies'-maids dress outrageously fine. I had a great respect 
for her father, ma'am : never a better clerk came into our office." 

" Perhaps you'll tell me you have a respect for her ! The world's 
being turned upside down, I think. Formerly, mistresses kept their 
servants to work ; now, it seems they keep them for play. She's 
going to St. Jude's, you may be sure of it, to stare at this fine v.^edding, 
instead of being at home in a cotton gown and white apron, making 
beds. Mrs. Latimer must be a droll mistress, to give her her liberty 
in this way. What's that fly for?" sharply .added Miss Corny, as one 
drew up to the office door. 

" Fly," said Mr. Dill, stretching forward his bald head. " It must be 
the one I ordered. Then I'll wish you good day. Miss Corny." 

'• Fly for you ! " cried Miss Corny. " Have you the gout, that you 
could not walk to St. Jude's on foot ? " 

" I am not going to church yet, but to the Grove, Miss Corny. I 
thought it would look more proper to have a fly, ma'am ; be paying 
greater respect." 

" Not a doubt but you need it, in that trim," retorted she. " Why 
didn't you put on pumps, and silk stockings, with clocks to them ? " 

He was glad to bow himself out. But he thought he would do it 
with a pleasant remark, to show her he bore her no ill-will. " Just 
look at the crowds pouring down. Miss Corny : the church will be as 
full as it can hold." 

" I dare say it will," retorted she. " One fool makes many." 

" I fear Tvliss Cornelia does not like this marriage, any more than 
she did the last," quoth Mr. Dill to himself, as he stepped into his fly. 
" Such a sensible woman as she is in other things, to be so bitter 
against Mr. Archibald because he marries ! It's not like her. I 
wonder," he added, his thoughts changing, " whether I do look foolish 
in this shirt? I'm sure I never thought of decking myself out to 
appear young — as Miss Corny said : I only wished to testify resjiect 
to Mr. Archibald and Miss Barbara : nothing else would have made 
me give five and twenty shillings for it. Perhaps it's not etiquette — 
or whatever they call it— to wear them in a morning? Miss Corny 
ought to know ; and there must certainly be something wrong about 
it, by the way it put her up. Well, it can't be helped now ; it must 
go ; there's no time to return home to change it." 

St. Jude's Church was crowded : all the world and his wife had 
flocked to see it. Those who could not get inside took up their stations 
in the churchyard and in the road. Tombstones were little respected 
that day, for irreverent feet stood upon them : fifty boys at least were 
mounted on the railings round Lord Mount Severn's grave, holding on, 
one to another. Was the bridal party never coming ? Eleven o'clock, 
and no signs of it. The mob outside grew impatient ; the well-dressed 
mob within grew impatient too ; some of them had been there for two 
hours. Hark ! a sound of carriages ! Yes, it was coming now ; and 
the beadle and the pew-opener cleared the space before the altar-rails, 
which, had been invaded, and, until now, the invasion winked at. 

Well, it was a goodly show. Ladies and gentlemen as smart as 
fine feathers could make them. Mr. Carlyle was one of the first to 
enter the church, self-possessed and calm, every inch a gentleman. 



288 EAST LYNNfi. 

He was indeed noble to look upon : though when was he ever other- 
wise? Mr. and Mrs. Clitheroe were there, Anne Hare in the days gone 
by : a surprise for some of the gazers, who had not known they were 
expected to the wedding. Gentle, dcHcate Mrs. Hare walked up the 
church leaning on the arm of Sir John Dobede, a paler look than 
usual on her sweet, sad face. " She's thinking of her wretched, ill- 
doing son," quoth the gossips, one to another. But who comes in 
now, with an air as if the whole church belonged to him ? An im- 
posing, pompous man, stern and grim, in a new flaxen wig, and a 
white rose in his button-hole. It is Mr, Justice Hare, and he leads 
in one, whom folks crane forward to get a look at. 

Very lovely was Barbara, in her soft white silk robes, and her float- 
ing veil. Her cheeks, now blushing rosy red, now pale as the veil that 
shaded them, betrayed how intense was her emotion. The bridesmaids 
came after her with jaunty steps, vain in their important office : Louisa 
Dobede, Augusta and Kate Herbert, and Mary Pinner. 

Mr. Carlyle was already in his place at the altar ; and as Barbara 
neared him, he advanced, took her hand, and placed her on his left. 
I don't think that it was quite usual ; but he had been married before, 
and ought to know. The clerk directed the rest where to stand, and, 
after some little delay, the service proceeded. 

In spite of her emotion — and that it was great, none could doubt — 
Barbara made the responses bravely. Be you very sure that a woman 
who loves him to whom she is being united must experience this 
emotion. " Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live 
together after God's ordinance in the holy state of matrimony ? " spoke 
the Reverend Mr. Little. " Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, 
honour, and keep him in sickness and in health ; and, forsaking all 
others, keep thee only unto him, as long as ye both shall live ? " 

" I will." Clearly, firmly, impressively was the answer given. It was 
as if Barbara had in her thoughts one, who had not " kept only unto 
him," and would proclaim her own resolution never so to betray him, 
God helping her. 

The ceremony was very soon over ; and Barbara, the magic ring 
upon her finger, and her arm within Mr. Carlyle's, was led out to his 
chariot, now hers : had he not just endowed her with his worldly 
goods ? 

The crowd shouted and hurrahed as they caught sight of her lovely 
face, but the carriage was soon clear of the crowd, who concentrated 
their curiosity upon the other carriages that were to follow it. The 
company were speeding back to the Grove, to breakfast. Mr. Carlyle, 
breaking the silence, suddenly turned to his bride and spoke, his tone 
impassioned, almost unto pain. 

" Barbara, yoti will keep your vows to me ? " 

She raised her shy blue eyes, so full of love, to his : earnest feeling 
had brought the tears to them. 

" Always : in the spirit and in the letter : until death shall claim ma 
So help me Heaven ! " 



PART THE THIRD 



CHAPTER I. 

STALKENDERG. 

More than a year had gone on. 

The German watering-places were crowded that early autumn. They 
generally are crowded at that season, now that the English flock abroad 
in shoals, like the swallows quitting our cold country, to return again 
some tunc. Stalkenberg was that year particularly full, for its size : you 
might have put it in a nutshell and it derived its importance, name, 
and all else belonging to it, from its lord of the soil, the Baron von 
Stalkenberg A stalwart old man was the baron, with grizzly hair, a 
grizzly beard, and manners as loutish as those of the boars he hunted. 
He had four sons as stalwart as himself, and who promised to be in 
time as grizzled. They were all styled the Counts von Stalkenberg, and 
were distinguished by their Christian names ; all except the eldest son, 
and he wms generally called the young baron. Two of them were away ; 
soldiers ; and two, the eldest and the youngest, lived with their father, 
in the tumble-down castle of Stalkenberg, situated about a mile from 
the village to which it gave its name. The young Baron von Stalken- 
berg was at liberty to marry. The three Counts von Stalkenberg were 
not — unless they could pick up a wife with enough money to keep herself 
and her husband. In this creed they had been brought up : it was a 
perfectly understood creed, and not rebelled against. 

Stalkenberg differed in no wise from the other baths of its class in the 
Vaterland. It had its linden-trees, its fair scenery, its Kursaal, its balls, 
its concerts, its table d'hote, its gaming-tables, where one everlasting 
sentence dins the visitor's ear — and one to which he will do well to be 
deaf — " Faites votre jeu, messieurs : faites votre jeu ! " its promenades, 
and its waters. The last were advertised — and some accorded their 
belief — to cure every malady known or imagined, from apoplexy down 
to an attack of love-fever, provided you only took enough of them. 

The young Baron von Stalkenberg (who was only styled young in 
contradistinction to his father, being in his forty-first year) was famous 
for a handsome person, and for his passionate love of the chase : he 
was the deadly enemy of wild boars and wolves. The Count Otto von 
Stalkenberg (eleven years his brother's junior) was famous for nothing 
but his fiercely-ringed moustache, a habit of eating, and an undue 
addiction to draughts of Marcobrunner. Somewhat meagre fare, so 
report ran, was the fashion in the castle of Stalkenberg ; neither the old 
baron nor his heir cared for luxur)' ; therefore Count Otto was sure to 

East Lynne. 19 



290 EAST LYNNE. 

be seen at the table d'hote, as often as any one would invicc him. And 
that was nearly every day . for the Count von Stalkenberg was a high- 
sounding title, and his baronial father, proprietor of all Stalkenberg, 
lorded it in the baronial castle close by : all of which appeared very 
grand and great ; and that is bowed down to with an idol's worship. 

Stopping at the Ludwig Bad, the chief hotel in the place, was a 
family of the name of Crosby. It consisted of I\Ir. and I^Irs. Crosby, 
an only daughter, her governess, and two or three servants. What 
Mr. Crosby had done to England, or England to him, I can't say : but 
he never went near his native country. For years and years he had lived 
abroad : not in any settled place of residence ; they would travel about, 
and remain a year or two in one place, a year or two in another, as 
the whim suited them. A respectable, portly man, of quiet and 
gentlemanlike manners, looking as little like one who need be afraid 
of the laws of his own land as could be. Neither is it said, or 
insinuated, that he was afraid of them : a gentleman who knew him, 
had asserted, many years before, when it was once questioned, that 
Crosby was as free to go home and establish himself in a mansion in 
Piccadilly as the best of them. But he had lost fearfully by some 
roguish scheme, like the South Sea bubble, and could not live in the 
style he once had done, and therefore preferred to remain abroad. 
Mrs. Crosby was a pleasant, chatty woman, given to taking as much 
gaiety as possible, and Helena Crosby was a remarkably line-grown 
girl of seventeen. You might have given her some years more, had 
you been guessing her age, for she was no child, either in appearance 
or manners, and never had been. She was an heiress, too : an uncle 
had left her twenty thousand pounds ; and, at her mother's death, she 
would have ten thousand more. The Count Otto von Stalkenberg 
heard of the thirty thousand pounds, and turned his fierce moustache 
and his eyes on Miss Helena. 

" Tirty tousand pound and von handsome girls ! " cogitated he, for he 
prided himself upon his English. " It is just what I have been seeking 
after." 

He found the rumour, touching her fortune, to be correct, and from 
that time was seldom apart from the Crosbys. They were as pleased 
to have his society as he was to be in theirs, for was he not the Count 
von Stalkenberg ? — and the other visitors at Stalkenberg, looking on 
with envy, would have given their ears to have been honoured with a 
like intimacy. Whether Mr. Crosby cared so much for the distinction 
as did madame and mademoiselle, must remain a question ; he Avas 
civil to him, and made him welcome ; and Mrs. Crosby, in all things 
relating to society, was the grey mare. 

One day there thundered down in a vehicle the old Baron von 
Stnlkenberg. The like of this conveyance, for its shape and its silver 
ornaments, had never been seen since the days of Adam. It had been 
the pride of the baron's forefathers, but was rarely disturbed in its 
repose now. Some jrigcrs in green and silver attended it, and it drew 
up at the door of the Ludwig Bad, the whole of whose inmates there- 
iipon flocked to the windows to feast their eyes. The old chief had 
come to pay a visit of ceremony to the Crosbys ; and the host of the 
Ludwig Bad, as he appeared himself to marshal his chieftain to their 



STALKENBERG. 291 

saloon, bowed his body low with every step : " Room there, room 
there, for the mighty Baron von Stalkenbcrg ! " 

The mighty baron had come to invite them to a feast at his castle 
— where no feast had ever been made so grand before as this would 
be ; and Otto had carte blanche to engage other distinguished sojourners 
at Stalkenberg ; Enghsh, French, and natives who had been civil to 
him. Mrs. Crosby's head was turned. 

And now, I ask you, knowing as you do our national notions, was it 
not enough to turn it ? You will not, then, be surprised to hear that 
when, some days after the feast, the Count Otto von Stalkenberg laid 
his proposals at Helena's feet, they were not rejected. 

" But she is so young," remonstrated Mr. Crosby to his wife. " I-f 
they would only wait a couple of years, I would say nothing against it." 

"And get the count snapped up meanwhile. No, no, Mr. Crosby. 
Counts von Stalkenberg are not secured every day." 

" If he has a title and ancestry, Helena has money." 

" Then they are pretty equally balanced," returned ]\Irs. Crosby. 
" I never thought of such a match for her : the Countess von Stalken- 
berg : only listen to the sound ! " 

'' I wish he would cut off those frightful moustaches," grumbled Mr. 
Crosby. 

" Now don't worry about minor details : Helena thinks they are 
divine. The worst is about the governess." 

" What about her ? " 

" Why, I engaged her, for certain, up to Christmas, and of course I 
must pay her ; unless I can find her another place. I'll try." 

"Ah ! Helena would be much better with her, than getting married. 
I don't like girls to marry so young," lamented Mr. Crosby. " I don't 
know what the English here will say to it ! " 

" If you don't let out her age, nobody need know it," cried his wife. 
" Helena looks a woman, not a child. As to the English, they are 
going mad that the luck has not fallen upon them." 

Mr. Crosby's objections seemed to be met in every way, so he 
relapsed into silence. He knew it was of no use carrying on the war. 

Helena Crosby, meanwhile, had rushed into her governess's room. 
" Madame ! maclame ' only think ! I am going to be married I " 

Madame lifted her pale, sad face ; a very sad and pale face was hers. 
" Indeed ! " she gently replied. 

" And my studies are to be over from to-day. Mamma says so." 

" You are very young to marry, Helena." 

" Now, don't bring that up, madame. It is just wha^ papa is harp- 
ing upon," returned Aliss Helena. 

"Is it to Count Otto?" asked the governess. And it may be re- 
marked that her English accent was perfect, although the young lady 
addressed her as " Madame." 

" Count Otto, of course. As if I would marry any one else ! " 

Look at the governess, reader, and see whether you know her. You 
will say no. But you do, for it is Lady Isabel Vane. But how 
strangely she is altered ! Yes ; the railway accident did that for her ; 
and what the accident left undone, grief and remorse accomplished. 
She limps slightly as she walks, and stoops, which takes from her 



292 EAST LYNNE. 

former height. A scar extends from her chin above her mouth, com- 
pletely changing the character of the lower part of her face ; some of 
her teeth are missing, so that she speaks with a lisp, and the sober 
bands of her grey hair — it is nearly silver — are confined under a large 
and close cap. She herself tries to make the change greater, that the 
chance of being recognized may be at an end, for which reason she 
wears disfiguring green spectacles, or, as they are called, preservers, 
going round the eyes, and a broad band of grey velvet coming down 
low upon her forehead. Her dress, too, is equally disfiguring. Never 
is she seen in one that fits her person, but in those frightful "loose 
jackets " which must surely have been invented by some one envious of 
a pretty shape. As to her bonnet, it would put to shame those mas- 
querading things tilted on the back of the head, for it actually shaded 
her face ; and she was never seen out of doors without a thick veil. 
She was pretty easy upon the score of being recognized now , for Mrs. 
Ducie and her daughters had been sojourning at Stalkenberg, and they 
did not know her in the least. Who could know her ? What resem- 
blance was there between that grey, broken-down woman, with her 
disfiguring marks, and the once lovely Lady Isabel, with her bright 
colour, her beauty, her dark flowing curls, and her agile figure? Mr. 
Carlyle himself would not have known her. But she was good- 
looking still, in spite of it all, gentle, and interesting ; and people 
wondered to see that gi'ey hair on one yet young. 

She had been with the Crosbys nearly two years. After her re- 
covery from the railway accident, she removed to a quiet town in its 
neighbourhood, where they were living, and she became daily governess 
to Helena. The Crosbys were given to understand that she was English, 
but the widow of a Frenchman — she was obliged to offer some plausible 
account of herself There were no references ; but she so won upon 
their esteem as daily governess, that they soon took her into the house. 
Had Lady Isabel surmised that they would be travelling to so con- 
picuous a spot as an English-frequented German watering-place, she 
might have hesitated to accept the engagement. However, it had been 
of service to her ; meeting with Mrs. Uucie proved that she was altered 
beyond chance of recognition. She could go anywhere now. 

But now, about the state of her mind ? I do not know how to describe 
the vain yearning, the inward fever, the restless longing for what 
might not be. Longing for what .'' For her children. Let a mother, 
be she a duchess, or be she an apple-woman at a stall, be separated 
for a while from her little children : let her answer how she yearns 
for them. She may be away on a journey of pleasure : for a few weeks, 
the longing to see their little faces again, to hear their prattling 
tongues, to feel their soft kisses, is kept under ; and there may be 
frequent messages, " The children's dear love to mamma " : but as the 
weeks lengthen out, the desire to sec them again becomes almost irre- 
pressible. What must it have been, then, for Lady Isabel, who had 
endured this longing for years ? We hear of the inal du pays, which 
is said to attack the Swiss when exiled from their country ; that is as 
nothing compared with the heart-sickness which clung to Lady Isabel. 
She had passionately loved her children : she had been anxious for 
their welfare in all ways ; and, not the least that she had to endure 



STALKENBERG. 293 

now, was the thought that she had abandoned them to be trained by 
strangers. Would they be trained to goodness, to morahty, to rehgion ? 
Careless as she herself had once been upon these points, she had learnt 
better now. Would Isabel grow up to indifference, to — perhaps do 
as she had done? Lady Isabel flung her hands before her eyes, and 
groaned in anguish. 

Of late, the longing had become intense. It was indeed a very 
fever: and a fever of the worst kind, for it attacked both mind 
and body. Her pale lips were constantly parched ; her throat had 
that malady in it, which those who have suffered from some hideous 
burden, know only too well. She had never heard a syllable of or 
from East Lynne since that visit of Lord Mount Severn's to '^'-renoble, 
nearly three years ago. An English newspaper never came in her 
way. Mr. Crosby sometmies had them, but they were not sent up to 
the governess i and, as Lady Isabel would say to herself, what should 
there be about East Lynne in a newspaper ? She might have asked 
Mrs. Ducie for news, but she did not dare : what excuse could she, 
Madame Vine, make, for wishing tidings of East Lynne ? For all she 
knew, Mr. Carlyle and the children might be dead and buried. Oh ! 
that she could see her children but for a day, an hour ? that she might 
press one kiss upon their lips ! Could she live without it ? News, 
however, she was soon to have. 

It happened that Mrs. Latimer, a lady living at West Lynne, betook 
herself about that time to Stalkenberg ; and, with her, three parts 
maid, and one part companion, went Afy Hallijohn. Not that Afy 
was admitted to the society of Mrs. Latimer, to sit with her or dine 
with her , nothing of that sort ; but she did enjoy more privileges 
than most ladies'-maids ; and Afy, who was never backward at setting 
off her own consequence, gave out that she was "companion." Mrs. 
Latimer was an easy woman, fond of Afy ; and Afy had made her 
own tale good to her, respecting the ill-natured reports at the time 
of the murder, so that Mrs. Latimer looked upon her as on one to be 
compassionated. 

Mrs. Latimer and Mrs. Crosby, whose apartments in the hotel 
adjoined, struck up a violent friendship the one for the other. Ere the 
former had been a week at the Ludwig, they had sworn something 
like eternal sisterhood — as both had probably done for others fifty 
times before. 

On the evening of the day Helena Crosby communicated her future 
prospects to Lady Isabel, the latter strolled out in the twilight and 
took her seat on a bench in an unfrequented part of the gardens, where 
she was fond of sitting. Now it came to pass that Afy, some {c\^ 
minutes afterwards, found herself in the same walk — and a very dull 
one too, she was thinking. 

" Who's that .' " quoth Afy to herself, her eyes falling upon Lady 
Isabel. " Oh, it's that governess of the Crosbys. She may be known 
a mile olf, by her grandmother's bonnet. Ell go and have a chat with 
her." 

Accordingly Afy, who was never troubled with bashfulness, went 
up and seated herself beside Lady Isabel, "Good eveninvf; Mi.dame 
Vine," said she. 



294 EAST LYNNE. 

" Good evening," replied Lady Isabel, courteously, not having the 
least idea of whom Afy might be. 

" You don't know me, I fancy," pursued Afy, so gathering from Lady 
Isabel's looks. " I am companion to Mrs. Latimer ; and she is spend- 
ing the evening with Mrs. Crosby. Precious dull, this Stalkenberg ! " 

" Do you think so?" 

" It is for me. I can't speak German or French, and the upper 
attendants of families here can't, most of them, speak English. I'm 
sure I go about like an owl, able to do nothing but stare. I was sick 
enough to come here, but I'd rather be back at West Lynne, quiet as 
it is." 

Lady Isabel had not been encouraging her companion, either by 
words or manner, but the last sentence caused her heart to bound 
within her. Control herself as she would, she could not quite hide her 
feverish interest. 

" Do you come from West Lynne .'' " 

"Yes. Horrid place ! Mrs. Latimer took a house there soon after 
I went to live with her. I'd rather she had taken it at Botany Bay." 

" Why do you not like it ? " 

" Because 1 don't," was Afy's satisfactory answer. 

" Do you know East Lynne ?" resumed Lady Isabel, her heart beat- 
ing and her brain whirling, as she deliberated how she could put all 
the questions she wished to ask. 

" I ought to know it," returned Afy. " My own sister, Miss Halli- 
john, is head maid there. Why .'' Do you know it, Madame Vine } " 

Lady Isabel hesitated : she was deliberating upon her answer. 
" Some years ago, I was staying in the neighbourhood for a little time," 
she said. " I should like to hear of the Carlyles again ; they were 
a nice family." 

Afy tossed her head. " Ah ! but there have been changes since 
that. I dare say you knew them in the time of Lady Isabel ? " 

Another pause. " Lady Isabel? Yes. She was Mr. Carlyle's wife." 

"And a nice wife she made him ! " ironically rejoined Afy. " You 
must have heard of it, Madame \"ine, unless you have lived in a wood. 
She eloped : abandoned him and her children." 

"Are the children living ? " 

" Yes, poor things. But the one's on its road to consumption — if 
ever I saw consumption yet. Joyce — that's my sister — is in a flaring 
temper with me when I say it. She thinks it will get strong again." 

Lady Isabel passed her handkerchief across her moist brow. " Which 
of the children is it ? " she faintly asked. " Isabel ? " 

" Isabel ! " retorted Afy. " Who's Isabel ? " 

" The eldest child, 1 mean ; Miss Isabel Carlyle." 

" There's no Isabel. There's Lucy. She's the only daughter." 

"When — when — I knew them, there was only one daughter; the 
other two were boys : I remember quite well that she was called 
Isabel." 

" Stay," said Afy ; " now you speak of it, what was it that I heard ? 
It was Wilson told mc, I recollect — she's the nurse. Why, the very 
night that his wife went away, Mr. Carlyle gave orders that the child 
in future should be called Lucy ; her second name. No wondec," 



STALKENBERG. 295 

added Afy, violently indignant, " that he could no longer endure the 
sound of her mother's, or suffer the child to bear it." 

" No wonder," murmured Lady Isabel. " Which child is it that is 
ill ? " 

" It's William, the eldest boy. He is not to say ill, but he is as 
thin as a herring, with an unnaturally bright look on his cheeks, and 
a glaze upon his eyes. Joyce says his cheeks are no brighter than his 
mother's used to be, but I know better. Folks in health don't have 
those brilliant colours." 

" Did you ever see Lady Isabel?" she asked, in a low tone. 

" Not I," returned Afy ; " 1 should have thought it demeaning. One 
does not care to be brought into contact with that sort of misdoing, 
you know, Madame Vine." 

" There was another one, a little boy ; Archibald, I think his name 
was. Is he well?" 

" Oh, the troublesome youngster ! he is as sturdy as a Turk. No 
fear of his going into a consumption. He is the very image of Mr. 
Carlyle, is that child. I say, though, madame," continued Afy, chang- 
ing the subject unceremoniously, " if you were stopping at West Lynne, 
perhaps you heard some wicked mischief-making stories concerning 
me?" 

" I believe I did hear your name mentioned. I cannot charge my 
memory now with the particulars." 

" My father was murdered — you must have heard of that ? " 

" Yes, I recollect so far." 

" He was murdered by a fellow called Richard Hare, who decamped 
instanter. Perhaps you know the Hares also? Well, directly after 
the funeral I left W^est Lynne ; I could not bear the place ; and I 
stopped away. And what do you suppose they said of me ?^ — that I 
had gone after Richard Hare ! Not that I knew they were saying it, 
or I should pretty soon have been back and given them the length of 
my tongue. But now, I just ask you, as a lady, Madame Vine, whether 
a more infamous accusation was ever pitched upon ? " 

" And had you not gone after him ? " 

" No : that I swear," passionately returned Afy. " Make myself a 
companion of my father's murderer ! If Mr. Calcraft the hangman 
finished off a few of those West Lynne scandalmongers, it might be 
a warning to the others. I said so to Mr. Carlyle." 

"To Mr. Carlyle," repeated Lady Isabel, hardly conscious that she 
did repeat it. 

" He laughed, I remember, and said that would not stop the scandal. 
The only one who did not misjudge me was himself : he did not 
believe that I was with Richard Hare : but he was ever noble -judging, 
was Mr. Carlyle." 

" I suppose you were in a situation ? " 

Afy coughed. " To be sure. More than one. I lived as companion 
with an old lady who so valued me that she left me a handsome legacy 
in her will. I lived two years with the Countess of Mount Severn." 

" With the Countess of Mount Severn ! " echoed Lady Isabel, sur- 
prised into the remark. " Why, she — she — was related to Mr. 
Carlyle's wife. At least Lord Mount Severn was." 



296 EAST LYNNE. 

" Of course : everybody knows that. I was living there at the time 
the business happened. Didn't the countess pull Lady Isabel to 
pieces ! She and Miss Levison used to sit, cant, cant, all day over it. 
Oh, I assure you I know all about it. Have you the headache, that 
you are leaning on your hand ? " 

" Headache and heartache both," she might have answered. Miss 
Afy resumed. 

" So after the flattering compliment West Lynne had paid me, you 
may judge I was in no hurry to go back to it, Madame Vine. And 
if I had not found that Mrs. Latimer'? promised to be an excellent 
place, I should have left it, rather than be marshalled there. But I 
have lived it down ; I should like to hear any of them fibbmg against 
me now. Do you know that blessed Miss Corny ? " 

" I have seen her." 

" She shakes her head and makes eyes at me still. But so she would 
at an angel :. a cross-grained old cockatoo ! " 

"Is she still at East Lynne ' " 

" Not she, indeed. There would be drawn battles between her and 
Mrs. Carlyle, if she were." 

A dart, as of an ice-bolt, seemed to arrest the blood in Lady Isabel's 
veins. " Mrs. Carlyle ! " she faltered. " Who is Mrs. Carlyle ? " 

" Mr. Carlyle's wife. Who should she be ? " 

The rushing blood leaped on now, fast and fier)', " I did not know 
he had married again." 

" He has been married now — getting on for fifteen months ; a twelve- 
month last June. I went to the church to see them married. Wasn't 
there a cram ' She looked beautiful that day " 

Lady Isabel laid her hand upon her beating heart. But for that 
delectable " loose lacket," Afy might have detected her bosom's rise 
and fall. She steadied her voice sufficiently to speak. 

" Did he marry Barbara Hare?" 

" You may take your oath of that," said Afy "If folks tell true, 
there were love scenes between them before he ever thought of Lady 
Isabel. I had that from Wilson, and she ought to know, for she lived 
at the Hares'. Another thing is said- only you must just believe one 
word of West Lynne talk, and disbelieve ten : that if Lady Isabel had 
not died, Mr. Carlyle never would have married again : he had 
scruples. Half a dozen were given to him by report : Louisa Dobede 
for one, and Mary Pinner for another. Such nonsense ! folks might 
have made sure it would be Barbara Hare. There's a baby now." 

" Is there ? " was the faint answer. 

" A beautiful boy, three or four months old. Mrs. Carlyle is not a 
little proud of him. She worships her husband." 

" Is she kind to the first children ? " 

" For all I know. I don't think she has much to do with them. 
Archibald is in the nurserj', and the other two are mostly with the 
gove'-ness." 

" There is a governess ? " 

" Nearly the first thing that Mr. Carlyle did, after his wife's moon- 
light flitting, was to seek a governess, and she has been there ever 
since. She is going to leave now : to be married, Joyce told me." 



STALKENBERG. 297 

"Are you much at East Lynne? " 

Afy shook her head. " I am not going much, I can tell you, where 
I am looked down upon. Mrs. Carlyle does not favour me. She knew 
that her brother Richard would have given his head to marry me, and 
she resents it. No such great catch, I'm sure, that Die'- Hare, even if 
he had gone on right," continued Afy, somew'^at after the example of 
the fox and the grapes. " He had no brains to speak of; and what he 
had were soft and silly. Ah me ; the cha.ge- that take place in this 
world ! But for that Lady Isabel's mad folly in quitting him, and 
leaving the field open, Miss Barbara would never have had the chance 
of being Mrs. Carlyle." 

Lady Isabel groaned in spirit. 

" There is one person who never will hear a word breathed against 
her, and that's Joyce," went on Afy. " She was as fond of Lady Isabel, 
nearly, as Mr. Carlyle was." 

" Was he so fond of her ? " 

" He worshipped the very ground she trod upon. Ay, up to the 
hour of her departure ; Joyce says she knows he did ; and that's how 
she repaid him. But it's sure to be the way in this world : let a man, 
or woman, make an idol of another, and see if they don't get served 
out. The night that Mr. Carlyle brought his new wife home, Joyce, 
who was attending on her, went into the dressing-room, leaving Mrs. 
Carlyle in the bed-chamber. ' Joyce,' she called out. ' My lady ? ' 
answered Joyce — proving who vv'as filling up her thoughts. I don't 
know how Mrs. Carlyle liked it. Joyce said she felt as mad as could 
be with herself." 

" I wonder," cried Lady Isabel, in a low tone, " how the tidings of 
her death were received at East Lynne ? " 

" I don't know anything about that. They held it as a jubilee, I 
should say, and set all the bells in the town ringing. / should, I know. 
A brute animal, deaf and dumb, clings to its offspring : but she 
abandoned hers. Are you going in, Madame Vine?" 

" I must go in now. Good evening to you." 

She had sat till she could sit no longer ; her very heart-strings were 
wrung. And she might not rise up in defence of herself. Defence ? 
Did she not deserv^e more, ten thousand times more reproach than had 
met her ears now ? This girl did not say of her half what the world 
must say. 

To bed at the usual time, but not to sleep. What she had heard 
only increased her vain, insensate longing. A stepmother at East 
Lynne, and one of her children gliding on to death ! Oh ! to be with 
them ! to see them once again ! To purchase that boon, she would 
willingly forfeit all the rest of her existence. 

Her frame was fevered ; the bed was fevered ; and she rose and 
paced the room. This state of mind would inevitably bring on bodily 
illness, possibly an attack of the brain. She dreaded that ; for there 
was no telling what she might reveal in her delirium. Her temples 
were throbbing, her heart was beating ; and she once more threw her- 
self upon the bed, and pressed the pillow down upon her forehead. 
There is no doubt that the news of Mr. Carlyle's marriage helped 
greatly the excitement. She did not pray to die ; but she did wish 
that death might come to hei. 



298 EAST LYNNE. 

What would have been the ending it is impossible to say, but a 
strange turn in affairs came : one of those wonderful coincidences 
v/hich are sometimes, but not often, to be met with. Mrs. Crosby 
appeared in Madame Vine's room after breakfast, and gave her an 
account of Helena's projected marriage. She then apologized (the 
real object of her visit) for dispensing so summarily with madame's 
services, but she had reason to hope that she could introduce her to 
another situation. Would madame have any objection to take one in 
England .'' Madame was upon the point of replying that she did not 
choose to enter one in England, when Mrs. Crosby stopped her, saying 
she would call in Mrs. Latimer, who could tell her about it better than 
she could. 

Mrs. Latimer came in, all eagerness and volubility. " Ah, my dear 
madame," she exclaimed, " you would be fortunate indeed if you were 
to get into this family. They are the nicest people ; he so liked and 
respected ; she so pretty and engaging. A most desirable situation. 
You will be treated as a lady, and have all things in comfort. There 
is only one pupil, a girl ; one of the little boys, I believe, goes in for an 
hour or two, but that is not much ; and the salary is seventy guineas. 
The Carlyles are friends of mine ; they live at a beautiful place. East 
Lynne." 

The Carlyles ! East Lynne ! Go there as governess ? Lady 
Isabel's breath was taken away. 

" They are parting with their governess," continued Mrs. Latimer, 
" and when I was there a day or two before I started on my tour to 
Germany, Mrs. Carlyle said to me, ' I suppose you could not pick up 
a desirable governess for Lucy : one who is mistress of French and 
German.' She spoke in a half-joking tone, but I feel sure that were I 
to write word that I had found one, it would give her pleasure. Now, 
Mrs. Crosby tells me your French is quite that of a native, Madame 
Vine ; that you read and speak German well, and that your musical 
abilities are excellent. I think you would be just the one to suit ; and 
I have no doubt I could get you the situation. What do you say ? " 

What could she say ? Her brain was in a whirl. 

" I am anxious to find you one if I can," put in Mrs. Crosby. " We 
have been very much pleased with you, and I should like you to be 
desirably placed. As Mrs. Latimer is so kind as to interest herself, it 
appears to me an opportunity that should not be missed." 

" Shall I write to Mrs. Carlyle?" rejoined Mrs. Latimer. 

Lady Isabel roused herself, and so far cleared her intellects as to 
understand and answer the question. " Perhaps you will kindly give 
me until to-morrow morning to consider it ? 1 had not intended to 
take a situation in England." 

She battled with herself that day. Now resolving to go, and risk 
it ; now shrinking from the attempt. At one moment it seemed to her 
that Providence must have placed tliis opportunity in her way that she 
might sec her children, in her desperate longing ; at another, a voice 
appeared to whisper that it was a wily, dangerous temptation flung 
across her path, one which it was her duty to resist and flee from. 
Then came another phase of the picture — how could she bear to see 
Mr. Carlyle the husband of another ?— to live in the same house with 



STALKENBERG. 299 

them, to witness his attentions, possibly his caresses ? It might be 
difficult ; but she could force and school her heart to endurance : had 
she not resolved in her first bitter repentance, to take up her cross 
daily, and bear it ? No ; her own feelings, let them be wrung as they 
would, should not prove the obstacle. 

Evening came, and she had not decided. She passed another night 
of pain, of restlessness, of longing for her children ; this intense long- 
ing appeared to be overmastering all her powers of mind and body. 
The temptation at length proved too strong : the project, having been 
placed before her covetous eyes, could not be relinquished, and she 
finally resolved io go. "What is it that should keep me away?" she 
argued. " The dread of discovery ? Well, if that comes, it must: they 
could not hang me, or kill me. Deeper humiliation than ever would 
be my portion^ when they drive me from East Lynne with abhorrence 
and ignominy, as a soldier is drummed out of his regiment ; but I 
could bear that, as I must bear the rest, and I can shrink under some 
hedge and lay myself down to die. Humiliation for me ! no ; I will 
not put that in comparison with seeing and being with my children." 

Mrs. Latimer wrote to Mrs. Carlyle. She had met with a governess : 
one desirable in every way, who could not fail to suit her views pre- 
cisely. She was a Madame \'ine, English by birth, but the widow of a 
Frenchman : a Protestant, a thorough gentlewoman, an efficient linguist 
and musician, and competent to perform her duties in all ways. Mrs. 
Crosby, with whom she li^d lived two years, regarded her as a treasure, 
and would not have parted with her but for Helena's marriage with a 
German nobleman. " You must not mind her appearance," went on 
the letter. " She is the oddest-looking person : wears spectacles, caps, 
enormous bonnets, and has a great scar on her mouth and chin ; 
and though she can't be more than thirty, her hair is grey : she is also 
slightly lame. But, understand you, she is a. ge/itlezcoinan with it all ; 
and looks one." 

When this description reached East Lynne, Barbara laughed as she 
read it aloud to Mr, Carlyle. He laughed also. 

" It is well governesses are not chosen according to their looks," he 
said, " or I fear Madame Vine would stand a poor chance." 

They resolved to engage her. And word went back to that effect. 

A strangely wild tumult filled Lady Isabel's bosom. She first of all 
hunted her luggage over, her desk, everything belonging to her, lest 
any scrap of paper, any mark on linen might be there, ^\•hich could 
give a clue to her former self. The bulk of her luggage remained at 
Paris, warehoused, where it had been sent ere she quitted Grenoble. 
She next saw to her wardrobe, making it still more unlike anything 
she had formerly worn : her caps, except that they were simple, and 
fitted closely to the face, nearly rivalled those of Miss Carhle. She 
had been striving for two years to change the character of her hand- 
writing, and had so far succeeded that none would now take it for 
Lady Isabel Vane's. But her hand shook when she wrote to Mrs. 
Carlyle — who had written to her. She — she writing to Mr. Carlyle's 
wife ! and in the capacity of a subordinate ! How would she like to 
live as a subordinate where she had once reigned, the idolized lady ? 
She must bear that ; as she must bear all else. Hot tears came 



30O EAST LYNNE. 

into her eyes, with a gush, as they fell on the signature, " Barbara 
Carlyle." 

All ready, she sat down and waited the signal of departure : but that 
was not to be yet. It was finally arranged that she should travel to 
England and to West Lynne with Mrs. Latimer, and that lady would 
not return until October. Lady Isabel could only fold her hands and 
strive for patience. 

But the day came at last ; and Mrs. Latimer, Lady Isabel, and Afy 
quitted Stalkenberg. JNIrs. Latimer v/ould only travel slowly, and the 
impatient, fevered woman thought the journey would never end. 

'* You have been informed, I thmk, of the position of these unhappy 
children to whom you are going," Mrs. Latimer said one day. " You 
must not speak to them of their mother. She left them." 

" Yes." 

" It is never well to speak to children of a mother who has disgraced 
them. Mr. Carlyle would not like it. And I dare say they are taught 
to forget her, to regard Mrs. Carlyle as their only mother." 

Her aching heart had to assent to all. 

It was a foggy afternoon, grey with the coming twilight, when they 
arrived at West Lynne. Mrs. Latimer, believing the governess was a 
novice to England, kindly put her into a fly, and told the driver his 
destination. '' Au revoir, madame," she said, " and good luck to you ! " 

Once more she was rolling along the familiar road. She saw Justice 
Hare's house, she saw other marks which she knew well. And once 
more she knew East Ly/me, the dear old house, for the fly had turned 
into the avenue. Lights were moving in the windows, it looked gay 
and cheerful, a contrast to herself. Her heart was sick with expecta- 
tion, her throat was beating ; and as the man thundered up \ "'th all the 
force of his one horse, and halted at the steps, her sight niumentanly 
left her. Would Mr. Carlyle come to the fly to hand her out } She 
wished she had never undertaken the project, now, in the depth of her 
fear and agitation. The hall door was flung open, and there gushed 
forth a blaze of light. 



CHAPTER II. 

CHANGE AND CHANGE. 



The hall doors of East Lynne were thrown open, and a flood of golden 
light streamed out upon the steps. 

Two men-servants stood there. One remained in the hall, the other 
advanced to the chaise. He assisted Lady Isabel to alight, and then 
busied himself with the luggage. As she ascended to the hall she 
recognized old Peter : strange, indeed, did it seem, not to say, " How 
arc you, Peter? "but to meet him as a stranger, p' or a moment she 
was at a loss for words : what should she say, or ask, coming to her 
own home ? Her manner was embarrassed, her voice low. 

" Is Mrs. Carlyle within .>" 

" Yes, ma'am." 

At that moment, Joyce came forv/ard to receive her. " It is Madame 



CHANGE AND CHANGE. 301 

Vine, I believe ? " she respectfully said. " Please to step this way, 
madame." 

But Lady Isabel lingered in the hall, ostensibly to see that her boxes 
came in right : Stephen was bringing them up then : in reality to gather 
a short respite, for Joyce might be about to usher her into the presence 
of Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle. 

Joyce, however, dicl nothing of the sort. She merely conducted her 
to the grey parlour : a fire was burning in the grate, looking cheerful 
on tliis autumn night. 

" This is your sitting-room, madame. What will you please to take ? 
I will order it to be brought in, while I show you your bed-chamber." 

"A cup of tea," answered Lady Isabel. 

'* Tea, and some cold meat with it," suggested Joyce. But Lady 
Isabel interrupted her. 

" Nothing but tea ; and a little cold toast." 

Joyce rang the bell, ordered the refreshment to be made ready, and 
then preceded Lady Isabel upstairs. On she followed, her heart palpi- 
tating : past the rooms that used to be hers, along the corridor, towards 
the second staircase. The doors of her old bed and dressing-rooms 
stood open, and she glanced in with a yearning look. No, never more, 
never more could they be hers . she had put them from her by her own 
free act and deed. Not less comfortable did they look now, than in 
former days . but they had passed into another's occupancy. The fire 
threw its blaze on the furniture 1 there were the little ornaments on the 
large dressing-table, as they used to be in her time, and the cut glass 
of the crystal essence bottles glittered in the firelight. On the sofa 
lay a shawl and a book, and on the bed a silk dress, as if thrown there 
after being taken off. No : these rooms were not for her now : and 
she followed Joyce up the other staircase. The bedroom to which she 
was shown was large and well furnished : it was the one Miss Carlyle 
had occupied when she, Isabel, had been taken, a bride, to East 
Lynne, though that lady had subsequently quitted it for one on 
the lower floor. Joyce put down the waxlight she carried, and looked 
round. 

" Would you like a fire lighted here, madame, for to-night ? Perhaps 
it will feel welcome, after travelling." 

" Oh no, thank you," was the answer. 

Stephen, with some one to help him, was bringing up the luggage. 
Joyce directed him where to place it, telling him to uncord the boxes. 
That done, the man left the room, and Joyce turned to Lady Isabel, 
\v'ho had stood like a statue, never so much as attempting to remove 
her bonnet. 

" Can I do anything for you, madame?" she asked. 

Lady Isabel declined. In these, her first moments of arrival, she 
was dreading detection : how was it possible that she should not ? — 
and feared Joyce's keen ^•■^s more perhaps than she feared any others. 
She was only wishni- ihat the girl would go down. 

" Should you want a..y one, please to ring, and Hannah will come 
up," said Joyce, preparing to retire. " She is the maid who waits upon 
the grey parlour, and will dc anything you like up here." 

Joyce had left the room, and Lady Isabel had taken her bonnet 



302 EAST LYNNE. 

off, when the door opened again. She hastily thrust it on-— somewhat 
after the fashion of Richard Hare's rushing on his hat and his false 
whiskers. It was Joyce. 

"Do you think you shall find your way down alone, madame ? " 

" Yes, I can do that," she answered. Find her way ! — in that house. 

Lady Isabel slowly took her things off. Where was the use of 
lingering ? — she 7iuist meet their eyes sooner or later. Though, in 
truth, there was little, if any, fear of her detection, so effectually was 
she disguised, by nature's altering hand, or by art's. It was with the 
utmost difficulty she kept tranquil : had the tears once burst forth, 
they would have gone on to hysterics, without the possibility of control. 
The coming home again to East Lynne ! Oh, it was indeed a time of 
agitation ; terrible, painful, agitation ; and none can wonder at it. 
Shall I tell you what she did ? Yes, I will. She knelt down by the 
bed, and prayed for courage to go through the task she had undertaken, 
prayed for self-control : ev^en she, the sinful, who had quitted that 
house under circumstances so notorious. But I am not sure that this 
manner of returning to it was an expedition precisely calculated to call 
down a blessing upon it. 

There was no excuse for lingering longer, and she descended, the 
v/axlight in her hand. Everything was ready in the grey parlour ; the 
tea-tray on the table, the small urn hissing away, the tea-caddy placed 
beside it. A silver rack of dry toast, butter, and a hot muffin covered 
with a small silver cover. The things were to her sight as old faces ; 
the rack, the small cover, the butter-dish, the tea-service ; she remem- 
bered them all. If she had reflected on the matter, she might have 
known, by the signs visible in the short period she had been in the 
house, that governesses at East Lynne were regarded as gentlewomen ; 
treated well and liberally. Yes ; for East Lynne owned Mr. Carlyle 
for its master. 

ShcMiiade the tea, and sat down with what appetite she might : her 
brain, her thoughts, all in a chaos together. She wondered whether 
Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle were at dinner she wondered in what part of 
the house were the children. She heard bells ring now and then ; she 
heard servants cross and recross the hall. Her meal over, she rang 
her own. 

A neat-looking, good-tempered mnid answered it. Hannah ; who — 
as Joyce had informed her — waited upon the grey parlour, and was 
at her, the governess's especial command. She took away the things, 
and then Lady Isabel sat on alone. For how long she scarcely knew, 
when a sound caused her heart to beat as if it would burst its bounds, 
and she started from her chair as one who has received an electric 
shock. 

It was nothing to be startled at — for ordinary people ; it was only 
the sound of children's voices. Her children ! were they being brought 
in to her ? She pressed her hand upon her henv^r.g bosom. 

No : they were only traversing the hall, and the voices faded away 
up the wide staircase. Perhaps they had been -':; to dessert, as in the 
old times, and were now going up to bed. She looked at her new 
watch : half-past seven. 

Her new watch. The old one had been changed away for it. All 



CHANGE AND CHANGE. 303 

her trinkets had been hkcwisc parted with, sold, or changed away, lest 
they should be recognized at East Lynne. Nothing whatever had she 
kept, except her mother's miniature and the small golden cross, set 
with its seven emeralds, ilave you forgotten that cross? Francis 
Levison accidentally broke it for her the first time they ever met. If 
she had looked upon the breaking of that cross, which her mother had 
enjoined her to set such store by, as an evil omen, at the time of the 
accident, how awfully had subsequent events seemed to have borne out 
her fancy ! These two articles, the miniature and the cross, she could 
not bring her mind to part Avith. She had scaled them up, and placed 
them in the remotest corner of her dressing-case, away from all chance 
of public view. Peter entered. 

" My mistress says, ma'am, she would be glad to see ) ou, if you are 
not too tired. Will you please to walk into the drawing-room ? " 

A mist swam before her eyes. Was she about to enter the presence 
of Mr. Carlyle ? — had the moment really come ? She moved to the 
door, which Peter held open. She turned her head from the man, for 
she could feel how ashy white were her face and lips. 

" Is Airs. Carlyle alone?" she asked in a subdued voice. The most 
indirect way she could put the question, as to whether Mr. Carlyle was 
there. 

" Quite alone, ma'am. My master in dining out to-day. Madame 
Vine, I think ? " he added, waiting to announce her,' as, the hall 
traversed, he laid his hand on the dr^^^.wing-room door. 

" Madame \'ine," she said, correcting him. F"or Peter had spoken 
the name, Vine, broadly, according to its English sound ; she set him 
right, and pronounced it in French. 

•' Madame \'een, ma'am," quoted Peter to his mistress, as he ushered 
in Lady Isabel. 

The old familiar drawing-room ; its handsome proportions, its well- 
arranged furniture, its dazzling chandelier ! It all came back to her 
with a heart-sickness. No longer her drawing-room, that she should 
take pride in it : she had flung it awiiy from her when she flung away 
the rest. 

Seated under the blaze of the chandelier was Barbara. Not a day 
older did she look than when Lady Isabel had first seen her at the 
churchyard gates, when she had inquired of her husband who was 
that pretty girl. "Barbara Hare," he had answered. Ay. She was 
Barbara Hare, then, but now she was Barbara Carlyle • and she, she, 
who had been Isabel Carlyle, was Isabel Vane again. Oh woe! 
woe ! 

Inexpressibly more beautiful looked Barbara than Lady Isabel had 
ever seen her — or else she fimcicd it. Her evening dress was of pale 
sky blue — -no other colour suited Barbara so well, and there was no 
other she was so fond of — and on her fair neck was a gold chain, and 
on her arms were gold bracelets. Her pretty features were attractive 
as ever, her cheeks were flushed ; her blue eyes sparkled, and her 
light hair was rich and abundant. A contrast, her hair, to t-hat of 
the worn woman opposite to her. 

Barbara came forward, her hand stretched out with a kindl)' greet- 
ing. " I hope you are not very tired after your journey? " 



304 EAST LYNNE. 

Lady Isabel murmured something : she did not know what : and 
pushed the chair set for her as much as possible into the shade. 

" You are not ill — are you ? " asked Barbara, noting the intensely 
pale face — as much as could be seen of it for the cap and the spectacles. 

" Not ill," was the low answer ; " only a little fatigued." 

" Would you prefer that I should speak with you in the morning ? 
You would Uke, possibly, to retire to bed at once." 

But this Lady Isabel declined. Better get the first interview over 
by candlelight than by daylight. 

" You looked so very pale. I feared you might be ill." 

" I am generally pale ; sometimes remarkably so : but my health is 



" Mrs. Latimer wrote us word that you would be quite sure to suit 
us," freely said Barbara. " I hope you will ; and I hope you may find 
your residence here agreeable. Have you hved much in England ?" 

"In the early portion of my life." 

" And you have lost your husband and children ? Stay. I beg your 
pardon if I am making a mistake : 1 think Mrs. Latimer did mention 
children." 

" I have lost them," was the faint, quiet response. 

" Oh, but it must be terrible grief when children die ! " exclaimed 
Barbara, clasping her hands in emotion. " I would not lose my baby 
for the world ; 1 could not part with him." 

"Terrible grief, and hard to bear," outwardly assented Lady Isabel. 
But, in her heart she v/as thinking that death was not the worst kind 
of parting. There was another, far more dreadful. Mrs. Carlyle began 
to speak of the children about to be placed under her charge. 

" You are no doubt aware that they are not mine ! Mrs. Latimer 
would tell you. They are the children of Mr. Carlyle's first wife." 

"And Mr. Carlyle's," interrupted Lady Isabel. What in the world 
made her say that ? She wondered, herself, the moment the words 
were out of her mouth. A scarlet streak flushed her cheeks, and she 
remembered that there must be no speaking upon impulse at East 
Lynne. 

" Mr. Carlyle's, of course," said Barbara, believing Madame Vine had 
only asked the question. "Their position — the girl's m particular — is 
a sad one, for their mother left them. Oh, it was a shocking business." 

" She is dead, I hear," said Lady Isabel, hoping to turn the immediate 
point of conversation. Mrs. Carlyle, however, continued, as though she 
had not heard her. 

" Mr. Carlyle married Lady Isabel Vane, the late Lord Mount Severn's 
daughter She was attractive and beautiful, but I do not fancy she 
cared very much for her husband. However that may have been, she 
ran away from him." 

" It was very sad," observed Lady Isabel, feeling that she was 
expected to say something. Besides, she had her 7-dle to play. 

" Sad ? It was wicked, it was infamous," returned Mrs. Carlyle, 
giving way to some excitement. " Of all men living, of all husbands, 
Mr Carlyle least deserved such a rcquifcil. You will say so when you 
come to know him. And the affair altogether was a mystery : for it 
never was observed or suspected, by any one, that Lady Isabel enter- 



CHANGE AND CHANGE. 305 

tained a liking for another. She eloped with Francis Levison— Sir 
PVancis, he is now. He had been staying at East Lynne, but no one 
detected any undue intimacy between them, not even Mr. Carlyle. 
To him, as to others, her conduct must always remain a mystery." 

Madame Vine appeared to be occupied with her spectacles, setting 
them straight. Barbara continued. 

" Of course the disgrace is reflected on the children, and always will 
be ; the shame of having a divorced mother " 

"Is she not dead.'"' interrupted Lady Isabel. 

" She is dead. Oh yes. But they will not be the less pointed at. the 
girl especially, as I say. They allude to their mother now and then, 
in conversation, Wilson tells me : but I would recommend you, 
Madame Vine, not to encourage them in that. They had better for- 
get her." 

" Mr. Carlyle would naturally wish them to do so." 

" Most certainly. There is little doubt that Mr. Carlyle would blot 
out all recollection of her, were it possible. But unfortunately she 
was the children's mother, and tor that there is no help. I trust you 
will be able to instil principles into the little girl which will keep her 
from a like fate." 

" I will tiy," answered Lady Isabel, with more fervour than she had 
yet spoken. " Are the children much with you, may I inquire ? " 

" No. I never was fond of being troubled with children. When my 
own grov/ up into childhood, I shall deem the nursery and the school- 
room the best places for them. I hold an opinion, Madame Vine, that 
too many mothers pursue a mistaken system in the management of 
their family. There are some, we know, who, loct in the pleasures of 
the world, in frivolity, wholly neglect them : of those I do not speak ; 
nothing can be more thoughtless, more reprehensible ; but there are 
others who err on the opposite side. They are never happy but when 
with their children ; t'.ey must be in the nursery ; or, the children in 
the drawing-room. They wash them, dress them, feed them ; render- 
ing themselves slaves, and the nurse's office a sinecure. The children 
are noisy, trouble ome, cross ; all children will be so ; and the mother's 
temper grows soured, and she gives slaps where, when they were babies, 
she gave kisses. She has no leisure, no spirits for any higher training : 
and as they grow old she loses her authority. One who is wearied, 
tired out with Iicr children, cross when they play, or make a little extra 
noise which jars on her unstrung nerves, who says, ' You shan't do 
this ; you shall be still,' and that continually, is sure to be rebelled 
against at last : it cannot be otherwise. Have vou never observed this .'' " 

" I have." 

" The discipline of that house soon becomes broken. The children 
run wild ; the husband is sick of it, and seeks peace and solace else- 
where. I could mention instances in this neighbourhood," continued 
Mrs. Carlyle, "where things are managed precisely as I have described, 
even in our own class of life. I consider it a most mistaken and per- 
nicio"us system.^ 

'' It undoubtedly is," ansv/ered Lady Isabel, feeling a sort of thank- 
fulness, poor thipg, that the system had not been hers — when she had 
a htJme and children. 

East Ltmao. 20 



3o6 EAST LYNNE. 

" Now, what I trust I shall never give up to another, will be the 
training of my children," pursued Barbara. " Let the offices, properly 
belonging to a nurse, be performed by the nurse — of course taking care 
that she is thoroughly to be depended on. Let her have the trouble of 
the children, their noise, their romping ; in short, let the nursery be 
her place and the children's place. But I hope I shall never fail to 
gather my children round me daily, at stated periods, for higher 
purposes : to instil into them Christian and moral duties ; to strive 
to teach them how best to fulfil life's obligations. This is a mother's 
task — as I understand the question ; let her do this work well, and the 
nurse can attend to the rest. A child should never hear ought from its 
mother's lips but winning gentleness ; and this becomes impossible, if 
she is very much with her children." 

Lady Isabel silently assented. Mrs. Carlyle's A'iews were correct. 

" When I first came to East Lynne, I found Miss Manning, the 
governess, was doing everything necessary for Mr, Carlyle's children 
in the way of the training that I speak of," resumed Barbara. " She 
had them with her for a short period every morning, even the little one ; 
I saw that it was all right, therefore did not interfere. Since she left — 
it is nearly a month now— I have taken them myself. We were sorry 
to part with Miss Manning ; she suited very well. But she has been 
long engaged to an officer in the navy, and now they are to be married. 
You will have the entire charge of the little girl she will be your 
companion out of school hours : did you understand that .'' " 

" I am quite ready and willing to undertake it," said Lady Isabel, 
her heart fluttering. " Are the children well ? Do they enjoy good 
health ? » 

" Quite so. They had measles in the spring, and the illness left 
a cough upon William, the eldest boy. Mr, Wainwright says he will 
outgrow it." 

"He has it still, then?" 

"At night and morning. They went last week to spend the day 
with Miss Carlyle, and were a little late in returning home. It was 
foggy, and the boy coughed dreadfully after he came in, Mr, Carlyle 
was so concerned, that he left the dinner-table and went up to the 
nursery : he gave Joyce strict orders that the child should never again 
^e out in the evening air, so long as the cough was upon him. We 
had never heard him cough like that." 

" Do you fear consumption ? " asked Lady Isabel in a low tone. 

" I do not fear that, or any other incurable disease for them," answered 
Barbara, " I think, with Mr, Wainwright, that time will remove the 
cough. The children come of a healthy stock on their father's side ; 
and I have no reason to think they do not on their mother's. She 
died young, you will say. Ay, but she did not die of disease ; her 
death was the result of accident. How many children had you ? " 
pursued Mrs. Carlyle, somewhat abruptly. 

. At leastj the question fell with abruptness, upon the ear of Lady 
Isabel, for she was not prepared for it. What should she answer? In 
her perplexity she stammered forth the actual truth. 

" Three. And — and a baby. That died. Died an infant, I 
mean." 



CHANGE AND CHANGE. 307 

" To lose four dear children ! " uttered Barbara, with sympathizing 
pity. " What did they die of? " 

A hesitating pause. " Some of one thing, some of another," was the 
answer, given in almost an inaudible tone. 

*' Did they die before your husband ? Otherwise the grief must have 
been worse to bear." 

" The — baby — died after him," stammered Lady Isabel, as she wiped 
the dew from her pale forehead. 

Barbara detected her emotion, and felt sorry to have made the in- 
quiries : she judged it was caused by the recollection of her children. 

*' Mrs. Latimer wrote us word you were of gentle birth and breed- 
ing," she resumed, presently. " 1 am sure you will excuse my asking 
these particular questions," Barbara added, in a tone of apology, " but 
this is our first interview ; our preliminary interview, it may in a 
measure be called, for we could not say much by letter." 

" I was born and reared a gentlewoman," answered Lady Isabel. 

" Yes, I am sure of it : there is no mistaking the tone of a gentle- 
woman," said Barbara. " How sad it is when pecuniary reverses fall 
upon us I I dare say you never thought to go out as a governess." 

A half smile positively crossed her lips. She, think to go out as a 
governess ! — the Earl of Mount Severn's only child ! " Oh no, never," 
she said, in reply. 

" Your husband, I fear, could not leave you well off. Mrs. Latimer 
said something to that effect." 

"When 1 lost him I lost all," was the answer. And Mrs. Carlyle 
was struck with the wailing pain betrayed in the tone. At that moment 
a maid entered. 

" Nurse says the baby is undressed, and quite ready for you, ma'am," 
she said, addressing her mistress. 

Mrs. Carlyle rose, but hesited as she was moving away. 

" I will have the baby here to-night," she said to the girl. " Tell 
nurse to put a shawl i^ound him and bring him down. It is the hour 
for my baby's supper," she smiled, turning to Lady Isabel. " I may as 
well have him here for once, as Mr. Carlyle is out. Sometimes I am 
out myself, and then he has to be fed." 

" You do not stay indoors for the baby, then ? " 

" Certainly not. If I and Mr. Carlyle have to be out in the evening 
baby gives way. I should never give up my husband for my baby ; 
never, dearly as I love him." 

The nurse came in. Wilson. She unfolded a shawl, and placed the 
baby on Mrs. Carlyle's lap. A proud, fine, fair young baby, who 
reared his head and opened wide his great blue eyes, and beat his arms 
at the lights of the chandelier, as no baby of nearly six months old 
ever did yet. So thought Barbara. He was in his clean white night- 
gown and nightcap, with their pretty crimped frills and border ; 
altogether a pleasant sight to look upon. She had onoe ^at in that 
very chair, with a baby as fair upon her knee : but all that was past 
and gone. She leaned her hot head upon her hand, and a rebellious 
sigh of envy went forth from her aching heart. 

Wilson, the curious, was devouring her with her eyes ; Wilson was 
thinking she never saw such a mortal fright as the new governess. 



3oS EAST LYNNE. 

Those blue spectacles capped everything, she decided : and what 
made her tie up her throat, in that fashion? As well wear a man's 
collar and stock, at once ! If her teaching was no better than her 
looks, Miss Lucy might as well go to the parish school! 

" Shall I wait, ma'am ? " demurely asked Wilson, her investigations 
concluded. 

" No," said Mrs. Carlyle. " I will ring." 

Baby was exceedingly busy, taking his supper. And of course, 
according to all baby precedent, he ought to have gone off into a sound 
sleep over it. But the supper concluded, the gentleman seemed to 
have no more sleep in his eyes than he had before he began. He sat 
up, crowed at the lights, stretched out his hands for them, and set his 
mother at defiance, absolutely refusing to be hushed up. 

"Do you wish to keep awake all night, you rebel.'"' cried Barbara, 
fondly looking on him. 

A loud crow by way of answer. Perhaps it was intended to intimate 
that he did. She clasped him to her with a sudden gesture of rapture, 
a sound of love, and devoured his pretty face with kisses. Then she 
took him in her arms, putting him to sit upright, and approached 
Madame Vine. 

" Did you ever see a more lovely child ? " 

" A fine baby indeed," she constrained herself to answer : and she 
could have fancied it her own little Archibald over again when he was 
a baby% " But he is not much like you." 

" He is the very image of my darling husband. When you see Mr. 
Carlyle " Barbara stopped, and bent her ear, as if listening. 

" Mr. Carlyle is probably a handsome man?" said poor Lady Isabel, 
believing that the pause was made to give her an opportunity of making 
an observation. 

" He is handsome ; but that is the least good about him. He is the 
most noble man ! revered, respected by every one ; I may say, loved. 
The only one who could not appreciate him was his wife. How she 
could ever leave him — how she could even look at another after calling 
Mr. Carlyle husband, will always be a marvel to those who know him." 

A bitter groan — and it nearly escaped her lips. 

"That certainly is the pony-carriage," cried Barbara, bending her 
ear again. "If so, how very early Mr. Carlyle is home! Yes, I am 
sure it is the sound of the wheels." 

How Lady Isabel sat she scarcely knew; how she concealed her 
trepidation she never would know. A pause ; an entrance to the hall ; 
Barbara, baby in arms, advanced to the drawing-room door, and a tall 
form entered. Once more Lady Isabel was in the presence of her 
sometime husband. 

He did not perceive that any one was present, and he bent his head 
and fondlv kissed his wife. Isabel's jealous eyes were turned upon 
them. She saw Barbara's passionate, lingering kiss in return, she 
heard her fervent whispered greeting. " My darling ! " and she watched 
him turn to press the same fond kisses on the rosy, open lips of his 
child. Isabel flung her hands over her face. Had she bargained for 
this? It was part of the cross she had undertaken to carry, and she 
musi bear it. 



CHANGE AND CHANGE. 309 

Tvlr. Carlyle came forward and saw her. He looked somewhat sur- 
prised. " Madame Vine," said Barbara ; and he held out his hand and 
welcomed her in the same cordial, pleasant manner that his wife had 
done. She put her shaking hand in his : there was no help for it : 
little thought Mr. Carlyle that that hand had been tenderly clasped in 
his a thousand times ; that it was the one pledged to him at the altar 
at Castle Marling. 

She sat down on her chair again, unable to stand, feeling as though 
every drop of blood within her had left her body. It had certainly 
left her face. Mr. Carlyle made a few civil inquiries as to her journey, 
but she did not dare to raise her eyes to him, as she breathed forth the 
answers. 

" You are home soon, Archibald," Barbara exclaimed. " I did not 
expect you so early. I did not think you could get away. I know 
what the justices' annual dinner at the Buck's Head is ; they always 
mvke it late." 

" As they will to-night," laughed Mr. Carlyle. " I watched my op- 
portunity, and came away when the pipes were brought in : I had 
determined to do so, if possible. Dill — who means to sit it out with 
the best of them — has his tale ready when they miss me : ' Suddenly 
called away : important business ; could not be helped.' " 

Barbara laughed also. " Was papa there ? " 

" Of course. He took the head of the table. What would the dinner 
be without the chairman of the bench, Barbara ? " 

" Nothing at all, m papa's opinion," merrily said Barbara. " Did 
you ask him how mamma was ? " 

" I asked him," said Mr. Carlyle. And there he stopped. 

" Well .? " cried Barbara. " What did he say ? " 

" ' Full of nervous fidgets,' was the answer he made me," returned 
Mr. Carlyle, with an arch look at his wife. " It was all I could get out 
of him." 

" That is just like papa. Archibald, do you know what I have been 
thinking to-day ?" 

" A great many foolish things, I dare say," he answered : but his tone 
was a fond one .* all too palpably so for one ear. 

" No, but listen. You know papa is going to London with Squire 
Pinner, to see those new agricultural implements — or ^vhatevcr it is. 
They are sure to be away three days. Don't you think so ? " 

"And three more added to them," said Mr. Carlyle, with a wicked 
smile upoK his lips. " When old gentlemen plunge into the attractions 
of London, there's no answering for their getting out of them in a hurry, 
country justices especially. Well, Barbara ? " 

" I was thinking if we could only persuade mamma to come to us for 
the time he is away. It would be a delightful little change for her ; a 
break in her monotonous life." 

" I wish you could do so," warmly spoke Mr. Carlyle. " Her life, 
since you left, is a monotonous one ; though, in her gentle patience, she 
will not say so. It is a happy thought, Barbara, and I only hope it may 
be carried out. Mrs. Carlyle's mother is an invalid, and lonely, for she 
has no child at home with her now," he added, in a spirit of politeness, 
addressing himself to Madame Vine. 



3IO EAST LYNNE. 

She simply bowed her head ; she did not trust herself to speak. Mr. 
Carlyle scanned her face attentively, as she sat, her head bent down- 
wards. She did not appear inclined to be sociable, and he turned to 
the baby, v.^ho was wider awake than ever. 

" Young sir, I should like to know what brings you up, and here, at 
this hour .'' " 

" You may well ask," said Barbara. " I had him brought down, as 
you were not here^ thinking he would be asleep directly. And only look 
at him ! no more sleep in his eyes than in mine." 

She would have hushed him to her as he spoke, but the young gentle- 
man stoutly repudiated it. He set up a half cry, and struggled his arms 
and head free again, crov/ing the next moment most impudently. Mr. 
Carlyle took him. 

" It is of no use, Barbara, he is beyond your coaxing this evening." 
And he tossed the child in his arms, held him up to the chandelier, 
made him bob at the baby in the pier-glass, until the rebel was in an 
ecstasy of delight. Finally he smothered his face with kisses, as Barbara 
had done. Barbara rang the bell. 

Oh ! can you imagine what it was for Lady Isabel ? So had he 
tossed, so had he kissed her children, she standing by, the fond, proud, 
happy mother, as Barbara was standing now. Mr. Carlyle came up to 
her. 

" Are you fond of these little troubles, Madame Vine ? This one is a 
fine fellow, they say." 

" Very fine. What is his name ? " she replied, by way of saying 
something. 

" Arthur." 

" Arthur Archibald," put in Barbara to Madame Vine. " I was 
vexed that his name could not be altogether Archibald, but that was 
already monopolized. Is that you, Wilson ? I don't know what 
you'll do with him, but he looks as if he would not be asleep by twelve 
o'clock." 

Wilson satisfied her curiosity by taking another prolonged stare at 
Madame Vine, received the baby from Mr. Carlyle, and departed with 
him. 

Madame "\^ine rose. Would they excuse her ? she asked, in a low 
tone : she was tired, and would be glad to retire \;o rest. 

Of course. And would she ring for anything she might wish in the 
way of refreshment. Barbara shook hands with her in her friendly way ; 
and Mr. Carlyle crossed the room to open the door for her, and bowed 
her out with a courtly smile. 

She went up to her chamber at once. To rest ? Well, what think 
you ? She strove to say to her lacerated and remorseful heart, that the 
cross — far heavier though it was proving than anything she had imagined 
or pictured — ^was only what she had brought upon herself, and must 
bear. Very true : but none of us would like such a cross to be upon 
our own shoulders. 

" Is she not droll-looking ?" cried Barbara, when she was alone with 
Mr. Carlyle. " I can't think why she wears those blue spectacles : it 
cannot be for her sight, and they are very disfiguring." 

''She puts me in mind of — of " began Mr. Carlyle in a dreamy tone. 



THE YEARNING OF A BREAKING HEART. 311 

"Of whom?" 

" Her face, I mean," he said, still dreaming. 

" So little can be seen of it," returned Mrs. Carlyle. " Of whom does 
she put you in mind ? " 

" I don't know ; no one in particular," returned he, rousing himself. 
" Let us have tea in, Barbara." 



CHAPTER III. 

THE YEARNING OF A BREAKING HEART. 

At her bedroom door, the next morning, stood Lady Isabel, listening 
wliether the coast was clear, ere she descended to the grey parlour, for 
she had a shrinking dread of encountering Mr. Carlyle. When he was 
glancing narrowly at her face the previous evening, she had felt the 
gaze, and it impressed upon her a dread of his recognition. Not only 
that : he was the husband of another ; therefore it was not expedient 
that she should see too much of him, for he was far dearer to her heart 
than he had ever been. 

Almost at the same moment, there burst out of a remote room, the 
nursery, a fair, upright noble boy of some five years old, who began 
careering along the corridor, astride on a hearth-broom. She needed 
not to be told that it was her boy, Archibald ; his likeness to Mr. 
Carlyle would have proclaimed it, even if her heart had not done so. 
In an impulse of unrestrainable tenderness, she sejzed the child as he 
was gallopmg past her, and carried him into her room, broom and all. 

" You must let me make acquaintance with you," said she to him, by 
way of excuse. " I love little boys." 

Love ! Down she sat upon a low chair, the child held upon her lap, 
kissing him passionately, tears raining from her eyes. She could not 
have helped the tears, had it been to save her life ; she could as little 
have helped the kisses. Lifting her eyes, there stood Wilson, who had 
entered without ceremony. A sick feeling came over Lady Isabel ; 
she felt as if she had betrayed herself. All that could be done now, 
was to make the best of it ; to offer some lame excuse. What possessed 
her, thus to forget herself? 

" He put me in remembrance of my own children," she said to 
Wilson, gulping down her emotion, and hiding her tears in the best 
manner she could ; whilst the astonished Archibald, now released, 
stood with his finger in his mouth and stared at her spectacles, his 
great blue eyes opened to their utmost width. " When we have lost 
children of our own, we are apt to love fondly all we come near." 

W^ilson, who stared only in a less degree than Archie, for she 
thought the new governess had gone suddenly mad, gave some voluble 
assent, and turned her attention upon Archie. 

" You naughty young monkey, how dare you rush out in that way 
with Sarah's hearth-broom? I'll tell you what it is, sir; you are get- 
ting too owdacious and rumbustical for the nursery ; I shall speak to 
your mamma about it." 



312 EAST LYNNE. 

She seized the child and shook him. Lady Isabel Started forwatd, 
her hands up, her v'oice one of painful entreaty. 

" Oh, don't, don't beat him ! I cannot see him beaten." 

" Beaten ! " echoed Wilson ; " if he had a good beating it would be all 
the better for him ; but it"s what he never does have. A little shake, or 
a tap, is all I must give : and it's not half enough. You wouldn't 
jelieve the sturdy impudence of that boy, madame ; he runs riot, he 
does. The other two never gave a quarter of the trouble. Come 
along, you figure ! I'll have a bolt put at the top of the nurseiy door ! 
— And if I did, he'd be for climbing up the door-post to get at it." 

The last sentence Wilson delivered to the governess, as she jerked 
Archie out of the room, along the passage and into the nursery. 
Lady Isabel sat down with a wrung heart, a chafed spirit. Her own 
child ! and she might not say to the servant, you shall not beat him I 

She descended to the grey parlour. The two elder children, and 
breakfast, were waiting : Joyce left the room when she entered it. 

A graceful girl of eight years old, a fragile boy a year younger, 
both bearing her own once lovely features, her once bright and deli- 
cate complexion, her large, soft brown eyes. How utterly her heart 
yearned to them ! but there must be no scene as there had just been 
above. Nevertheless, she stooped and kissed them both ; one kiss 
each of impassioned fervour. Lucy was naturally silent, W^illiam some- 
what talkative. 

" You are our new governess," said he. 

" Yes. We must be good friends." 

"Why not?" said the boy. "We were good friends with Miss 
Manning. I am to, go into Latin soon ; as soon as my cough's gone. 
Do you know Latin ? " 

" No. Not to teach it," she said, studiously avoiding all endearing 
epithets. 

" Papa said you would be almost sure not to know Latin, for that 
ladies rarely did. He said he should send up Mr. Kane to teach me." 

"Mr. Kane?" repeated Lady Isabel, the name striking upon her 
memory. " Mr. Kane the music-master?" 

" How did you know he was a music-master ? " cried shrewd William. 
And Lady Isabel felt the red blood flush to her face at the vmlucky 
admission she had made. It flushed deeper at her own falsehood, 
and she murmured some evasive words about hearing of him from 
Mrs. Latimer. 

" Yes, he is a music-master ; but he docs not get ranch money by it, 
and he teaches the classics as well. He has come up to teach us music 
since Miss Manning left : mamma said that we ought not to lose our 
lessons." 

Mamma ! How the word, applied to Barbara, grated on her car. 
" Whom docs he teach ?" she asked. 

" Us two," replied William, pointing to his sister and hmiself. 

" Do ••' ' always take bread and milk for breakfast?" she inquired, 
pc-ceiv^.i^ it to 1)0 what they were eating, 

" We grow tired of it sometimes, and then we have milk and water 
and bread and butter, or honey : and then we take to bread and milk 
again. It's Aunt Cornelia who thinks we should eat bread and milk 



THE YEARNING OF A BREAKING HEART. 313 

for breakfast : she says papa never had anything else when he was a 
boy." 

Lucy looked up. " Papa would give me an egg when I breakfasted 
with him," cried she, " and Aunt Cornelia said it was not good for me, 
but papa gave it me all the same. I always had breakfast with him 
then." 

" And why do you not now ? " asked Lady Isabel. 

" I don't know. I have not since mamma came." 

The word "stepmother" rose up rebclliously in the heart of Lady 
Isabel. Was Mrs. Carlyle putting away the children from their father.'' 

Breakfast over, she gathered them to her, asking them various 
fjuestions ; about their studies, their hours of recreation, the routine 
of their daily lives. 

" This is not the schoolroom, you know," cried William, when she 
made some inquiry as to their books. 

" No ? " 

" The schoolroom is upstairs. This is for our meals, and for you in 
an evening." 

Mr. Carlyle's voice was heard at this juncture in the hall, and Lucy 
was springing towards the sound. Lady Isabel, fearful lest he might 
enter, if the child showed herself, stopped her with a hurried hand. 

"Stay here, Isabel." 

" Her name's Lucy," said W^illiam, looking quickly up. " Why do 
you call her Isabel ? " 

" I thought— thought I had heard her called Isabel," stammered 
the unfortunate lady, feeling quite confused with the errors she was 
committing. 

" My name is Isabel Lucy," said the child, " but I don't know who 
could have told you, for I am never called Isabel. I have not been, 
since — since — Shall I tell you? Since mamma went away," she 
concluded, dropping her voice. " Mamma that was, you know." 

" Did she go ? " cried Lady Isabel, full of emotion, and possessing a 
very faint idea of what she was saying. 

" She was kidnapped," whispered Lucy. 

" Kidnapped 1 " was the surprised answer. 

" Yes ; or she would not have gone. There u'us a wicked man on 
a visit to papa, and he stole her. Wilson said she knew he was a 
kidnapper, before he took mamma. Papa said I was never to be 
called Isabel again, but Lucy. Isabel was mamma's name." 

" How do you know your papa said it ? " dreamily returned Lady 
I sabel. 

" I heard him. He said it to Joyce, and Joyce told the servants. 
I put only Lucy to my copies. I did put Isabel Lucy, ])ut papa saw 
it one day, and he drew his pencil through Isabel, and told me to 
show it to Miss Manning. After thai, INliss Manning let me put 
nothing but Lucy. I asked her why, and she told me papa preferred 
the name, and that I was not to ask questions." 

She could not well stop the child, but every word was rending her 
heart. 

'•■ Lady Isabel was our very own mamma," pursued Lucy. " This 
mamma is not." 



314 EAST LYNNE. 

" Do you love this one as you did the other ? " breathed Lady Isabel. 

" Oh, I loved mamma ! I loved mamma ! " uttered Lucy, clasping 
her hands. " But it's all over. Wilson said we must not love her any 
longer, and Aunt Cornelia said it. Wilson said, if she had loved us, 
she would not have gone away from us." 

" Wilson said so ? " resentfully spoke Lady Isabel. 

" She said she need not have let that man kidnap her. I am afraid 
he. beat her : for she died. I lie in my bed at night, and wonder 
whether he did beat her, and what made her die. It was after she 
died that our new mamma came home. Papa said she was come to 
be our mamma in place of Lady Isabel, and we were to love her dearly." 

" Do you love her .'' " almost passionately asked Lady Isabel. 

Lucy shook her head. " Not as 1 loved m.amma." 

Joyce entered to show the way to the schoolroom, and they followed 
her upstairs. ' As Lady Isabel stood at the window, she saw Mr. 
Carlyle depart on foot, on his way to the office. Barbara was with 
him, hanging fondly on his arm, about to accompany him to the park 
gates. So had she fondly hung, so had she accompanied him, in the 
days gone by for ever. 

Barbara came into the schoolroom in the course of the morning, 
and entered upon the subject of their studies, the variously allotted 
hours, some to play, some to work. She spoke in a courteous but 
most decided tone, showing that she was the unmistakable mistress 
of the house and children, and meant to be so. Never had Lady Isabel 
felt her position more keenly ; never had it so galled and fretted her 
spirit : but she bowed in meek obedience. A hundred times that day 
did she yearn to hold the children to her heart, and a hundred times 
she had to repress the longing. 

Before tea, when the sunbeams were slanting across the western 
horizon, she went out with the two children. They took the field path, 
running parallel with the high-road, the hedge only dividing them ; 
the path that Capcain Lev-ison used to take when he went to pry into 
the movements of Mr. Carlyle. To the excessive dismay of Lady 
Isabel, whom should they come upon, but Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle : 
they were walking home from West Lynne, together, and had chosen 
the field way. 

A confused greeting : it was confused to the senses of Lady Isabel : 
and then they were all returning together. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle in 
advance : she and the children behind. 

She slackened her pace. She strove to put all possible distance 
between herself and them. It did not avail her. Coming to a stile, 
Mr. Carlyle helped his wife over it, and then waited. The children 
were soon on the other side : little need of help for them : but he 
remained, in his courtesy, to assist the governess. 

" I thank you," she panted, as she came up. " I do not require 
help." 

Words that fell idly on his ear. He stood waiting for her, and she had 
no resource but to mount the stile : an awkward stile : she remembered 
it of old. Not more awkward, however, than she herself was at that 
moment. Before her was Mr. Carlyle's outstretched hand, and she 
could do no less than put the tips of her fingers into it : but, in her 



THE YEARNING OF A BREAKING HEART. 315 

trepidation she entangled her feet in her petticoats ; and, in attempting 
to jump, would have fallen, had not Mr. Carlyle caught her in his arms. 

" You are not hurt, I trust ! " he exclaimed, in his kindly manner. 

" I beg your pardon, sir ; my foot caught in my dress. Oh no, I am 
not hurt. Thank you." 

He walked forward and took his wife upon his arm, who had turned 
to wait for him. Lady Isabel hngered behind, striving to still her 
beating heart. 

They were at tea in the grey parlour, she and the two children, 
when WiUiam was seized with a fit of coughing. It was long and 
violent. Lady Isabel left her seat ; she had drawn him to her, and 
was hanging over him with unguarded tenderness, when, happening 
to hft her eyes, they fell upon Mr. Carlyle. He had been descending 
the stairs, on his way from his dressing-room, heard the cough, and 
came in. Had Lady Isabel been killing the boy, she could not have 
dropped him more suddenly. 

" You possess a natural love for children, I perceive," he said, look- 
ing at her with his sweet smile. 

She did not know what she answered : some confused, murmured 
words. If Mr. Carlyle made sense of them, he was clever. Into the 
darkest corner of the room retreated she. 

" What is the matter?" interrupted Mrs. Carlyle, looking in. She 
also had been descending, and was in her dinner dress. • Mr. Carlyle 
had the boy on his own knee then. 

" William's cough is troublesome. I don't like it, Barbara, I shall 
have Wainwright up again." 

" It's nothing," said Barbara. " He was at his tea : perhaps a crumb 
went the wrong way. Dinner is waiting, Archibald." 

Mr. Carlyle put the boy down, but stood for a minute looking at 
him. The cough over, he was pale and exhausted, all his brilliant 
colour gone. It was too brilliant, as Afy had said. Mrs. Carlyle en- 
twined her arm within her husband's, but turned her head to speak as 
they were walking away. 

"■ You will come into the drawing-room by-and-by with Miss Lucy, 
Madame Vine. We wish to hear you play." 

Miss Lucy ! And it was spoken in the light of a command. Well ? 
Barbara was Mrs. Carlyle, and she was — what she was. Once more 
she drew to her her first-born son, and laid her aching forehead upon 
him. 

" Do you cough at night, my darling child ? " 

" Not much," he answered. " Joyce puts me some jam by the bed- 
side, and if I have a fit of coughing, I eat that. It's black currant." 

" He means jelly," interposed Lucy, her mouth full of bread and 
butter. " It is black currant jelly." 

" Yes, jelly," said William. " It's all the same." 

"Does any one sleep in your room?" she inquired of him. 

" No. I have a room to myself." 

She fell into deep thought, wondering whether they would allow a 
little bed to be put into her room for him, wondering whether she niight 
dare to ask it. Who could watch over him and attend to him as she 
would ? In this one dav's intercourse with William, she had become 



3i6 EAST LYNNE. 

aware that he was possessed of that precocious intellect which too 
frequently attends weakness of body. He had the sense of a boy of 
fourteen, instead of one of seven : his conversation betrayed it. 
" Understands more than's good for a child," say old wives, as they 
look and listen, coupling their remark with another : " he'll never 
Uve." 

*' Should you like to sleep in my room ? " asked Lady Isabel. 

" I don't know. Why should I sleep in your room ? " 

" I could attend to you ; could give you jelly, or anything else you 
might require, if you were to cough in the night. I would love you, 
I v/ould be tender with you as your own mamma could have been." 

" Mamma did not love us," cried he. " Had she loved us she would 
not have left us." 

" She did love us," exclaimed Lucy, somewhat fiercely. " Joyce 
says she did, and I remember it. It wasn't her fault that she was 
kidnapped." 

" You be quiet, Lucy : girls know nothing about things. Mam- 
ma " 

" Child, child," interposed Lady Isabel, the scalding tears filUng her 
eyes, " your mamma did love you : loved you dearly : loved you, as 
she could never love anything again." 

" You can't tell that, Madame Vine," persisted William, disposed to 
be resolute. ." You were not here ; you did not know mamma." 

" I am sure she must have loved you," was all Madame Vine dared 
to answer. " I have been here only a day, and 1 have learnt to love 
you. I love you already, very, very much." 

She pressed her lips to his hot cheek as she spoke, and the 
rebellious tears would not be restrained, but fell on it also. 

" Why do you cry .'' " asked William. 

" I once," she answered, in a low tone, " lost a dear little boy like 
you, and I am so glad to have you to replace him : I have had 
nothing to love since." 

" What was his name?" cried curious William. 

" William." But the word was scarcely out of her hps before she 
thought how foolish she was to say it. 

" William Vine," cogitated the boy. " Did he speak French or 
English ? His papa was French, was he not .''" 

" He spoke English. But you have not finished your tea," she 
added, finding the questions were becoming close. 

It was Barbara's custom, when they were at home, to leave Mr. 
Carlyle at the dessert-table and to go up for a few minutes to her 
baby, before entering the drawing-room. As she was descending this 
evening, she saw Lucy, who was peeping out of the grey parlour. 

" May we come in now, mamma?" 

" Yes. Ask Madame Vine to bring in some'music." 

Madame Vine, delaying as long as she dared, arrived at the drawing- 
room door at an ii.cpportune moment, for Mr. Carlyle was just coming 
from the dining-room. She paused when she saw him : her first 
impulse was to retreat ; but he looked round and appeared to wait for 
her. Lucy had already gone in. 

" Madame Vine," he began, his hand upon the door-handle, and his 



THE YEARNING OF A BREAKING HEART. 317 

tone suppressed, " have you had much experience in the ailments of 
children ? " 

She was about to answer " No." For her own children, so long as 
she had been with them, were remarkably healthy. But she re- 
membered that she was supposed to have lost four by death, and must 
speak accordmgly. 

" Not a very great deal, sir. Somewhat, of course." 

" Does it strike you that this is an ugly cough of William's ?" 

" I think that he wants care ; that he should be continually watched, 
especially at night. I was wishing that he might be allowed to sleep 
in my room," she added, some strong impulse prompting her to prefer 
this request to Mr. Carlyle, trembling inwardly and outwardly as she 
did so. " His bed could be readily moved, and I would attend to 
him, sir, as — as — I would attend more cautiously than any servant 
could be likely to do." 

" By no means," warmly responded Mr. Carlyle. " We would not 
think of giving you the trouble. He is not ill, to require night nursing : 
and, if he were, our servants are to be depended on." 

" I am so fond of children," she ventured to plead. " I have already 
taken a great hking for this one, and would wish to make his health 
my care by night and by day. It would be a pleasure to me." 

" You are truly kind. But I am sure Mrs. Carlyle would not hear of 
it : it would be taxing you unreasonably." 

His tone was one of decision, and he opened the door for her to 
pass in. 

What she most dreaded, of all, was her singing. The lisp was not 
perceptible when she sang, and she feared her voice, her tones, might 
be recognized. She was determined not to attempt any song that she 
had ever sung in that house, and to give her voice but half its full 
compass. She remembered how ardently her husband had admired 
her singing in the days gone by. Barbara sang to him now. 

For that evening" there was a respite. Not many minutes had elapsed 
after her entrance, when one of the servants appeared, showing in 
Justice Hare, his march pompous as ever, his wig in elaborate order. 
No singing when he was present, for the sweetest melody was lost upon 
him. Barbara and Mr. Carlyle both rose to greet him. 

" Oh, papa ; what a wonder to see you in an evening ! I am very 
glad. Come to an easy-chair. Madame Vine," added Barbara, as the 
justice was passing that lady on his way to the chair. 

" Hope you are well, madmoselle. Nong parley Frongsey, me," said 
the justice, with an air that seemed to say, " And thank goodness that 
I don't." 

Madame Vine could not suppress a smile. "There is no necessity 
to do so, sir. I am not French, but English." 

" Beg pardon," said the justice. " But I heard there was a French 
madame coming here: and I'm sure you look French," he added, 
staring at her blue spectacles and her disfiguring dress. "' I shouldn't 
have taken you for English, if you had not told me ; but I'm glad to 
hear it. No good ever comes of a French governess in one's house. 
Keep 'em at arm's length, say I." 

'• Uo you think not?" returned Lady Isabel. 



3i8 EAST LYNNE. 

" I know it," bluntly replied the justice. " When our^girls'were young, 
Anne and Barbara, my wife must needs have a French maid for 'em : 
after that, she must have a French governess. I was dubious about it. 
' She'll turn us all papists,' said I, 'and require frogs to be served up 
for her dinner.' But Mrs. Hare represented that the girls must learn 
French, like other folks, and I let one come. Two years and some 
months she stopped, and " 

" And what, sir ? " 

" Well, it's not just drawing-room talk. I had a brother staying 
with us most of the time, a post-captain in the navy. On the sick-list ; 
he was invalided for three years. And we found them out. From 
nearly the first day that French madmoselle put her foot inside our 
door, up to the day I cleared her out of it, a nice game they had been 
carrying on. It gave Mrs. Hare a sickener for French Jesuits of 
governesses, and I told her_she was just served right. When I heard 
that Mrs. Carlyle had engaged a madmoselle for these children at East 
Lynne, I said she wanted her ears boxed." 

" But, papa, I told you then that Madame Vine was English, not 
French." 

The justice grov/led some answer, and continued his narrative to 
Madame Vine. 

" I gave it my brother right and left ; in fact, the quarrel we had 
then may be said to have lasted his life, for he never forgave me. He 
returned to service, and got his flag early. But he died close upon it, 
and left all his money to Barbara. Like the donkey that he was." 

" The effects of the quarrel, you see, papa," laughingly said Barbara ; 
the justice thought, saucily, 

" You are in Carlyle's hands now, and not in mine, or I'd tell you 
what I think of that speech, ma'am," was the grim retort to Barbara, 
as the justice once more turned to Madame Vine. 

" You must have seen some of the pranks of these French madmo- 
selles, these governesses ! " 

" Not very much. I have not been brought into contact with tTiem. 
I am English, as I tell you." 

"And a good thing for you, ma'am, I should say," returned the 
justice, in his bluntness. " But the mistake was natural, you must 
see. Being called by a French name, and living in France, or some of 
those outlandish places over the water, one could only take you for 
French. If I set up my quarters in France, and called myself Mosseer, 
I'd forgive the ver" dickens himself if he mistook me for a French 
frog." 

Lucy clapped her hands, and laughed in merriment, 

" You may laugh, Miss Lucy : but I can tell you, you'd have been 
changed into a frog, or something worse, if they had turned you over 
to a French madmoselle. If your poor mother hadn't had a French 
madmoselle of a governess in the first years of her life, she'd never 
have — have " 

"Have — what?" said Lucy, who was staring with all her might at 
Justice Hare. 

" Done as she did. There ! It's out. Barbara, what's this nonsense 
that you have been putting into your mamma's bead .*■ " 



THE YEARNING OF A BREAKING HEART. 319 

" I don't know what you mean, papa. I and Archibald want her to 
be with us while you are in London : if you allude to that." 

" And are determined to have her, justice," put in Mr. Carlyle. 
" Even though we should have to make a night assault on the Grove, 
and carry her off by storm." 

"The Grove, yes," growled Justice Hare. " Much either Barbara or 
you care what becomes of that. A pretty high life below stairs there 
would be, with the master and mistress both away ! You young ones 
have no more consideration about you than so many calves." 

" Oh, papa, how can you fancy such things ? " uttered Barbara. 
" The Grove Avould be just as safe and quiet without you and mamma, 
as with you. The servants are all steady, and have been with us a 
long time." 

" If you want your mamma here for more than a day, why can't you 
get her to come when I am at ht)me ? " 

" Because she will not leave you ; you know that, papa. If you are 
at home, she will be there too. I am sure there never was such a 
pattern wife as mamma. If Archibald finds me only half as good a one, 
in years to come, he may think himself lucky." 

The above remark was accompanied by a glance at Mr._ Carlyle, 
meant to express saucy independence ; but her deep love shone out in 
spite of herself. Mr. Carlyle lifted his drooping eyelids, and smiled 
as he nodded to her. 

" Papa, you always have your own way, but you must allow us to 
have ours for once. Mamma wishes to come to us : she gave quite a 
glad start when I proposed it to-day : and you must be kind enough 
not to oppose it. The house and servants will go on swimmingly ; I'll 
answer for it." 

" Rather too swimmingly" cried Justice Hare. 

" She requires a change, sir," said Mr. Carlyle, " Think what your 
wife's inward life is." 

"Fretting after that vagabond ! Whose fault is it ? Why does she 
do so?" 

" She has been a good and loving wife to you, sir." 

" I didn't say she hadn't." 

" Then encourage her to take this little holiday. The change of 
coming here for a few days will do her good ; Barbara's society will 
do her good ; remember how fond Mrs. Hare is of her," 

" A great deal fonder than Barbara deserves," retorted the justice. 
" She's as saucy as she can be now she thinks she's beyond my 
correction." 

" She's not beyond mine," said Mr. Carlyle, quite gravely. " I assure 
you, justice, I keep her in order," 

" / know," cried the justice, his tone somewhat rough. " You'd kill her 
with indulgence, before you'd keep her in order. That's you, Carlyle ? " 

The justice thought ne could take a glass of ale, and some was 
brought in. During *he slight stir occasioned by this. Lady Isabel 
sHpped round to Mrs. Can^^^, " Might she retire ? She believed she 
was not wanted," and Mrs, Carlyle graciously acceded to the request. 

An evening to herself in the grey parlour. A terrible evening ; one 
made up of remorse, grief, rebeUion, and bitter repentance : repentance 



320 EAST LYNNE. 

of the wretched past, rebelHon at existing things. Between nine and 
ten she dragged herself upstairs, purposing to retire to rest. 

As she was about to enter her chamber, Sarah, Wilson's assistant in 
the nursery, was passing, and a sudden thought occurred to Lady 
Isabel. " In which room does Master Carlyle sleep 1 " she asked. " Is 
it on this floor ? " 

The girl pointed to a door near. " In there, ma'am." 

Lady Isabel watched her downstairs, and then entered the room 
softly. A little white bed, and William's beautiful face lying on it. 
His cheeks were ilushed, his hands were thrown out, as if with inward 
fever ; but he was sleeping quietly. By the bedside stood a saucer, 
some currant jelly in it, and a tea-spoon ; there was also a glass of water. 

She glided down upon her knees and let her face rest on the bolster 
beside him, her breath in contact with his. Her eyes were wet ; but 
that she might wake him, she would' have taken the sleeper to her 
liosom, and caressed him there. Death for him ? She could hardly 
think it. 

" My gracious heart alive ! Seeing a light here, if I didn't think 
the room was on fire. It did give me a turn." 

The speaker was Wilson, who had discerned the light, in passing 
the door. Lady Isabel sprang up as though she had been shot. She 
feared the detection frcJm Wilson and Joyce more than she feared it 
from Mrs. Carlyle. 

" I am looking at Master W^illiam," she said, as calmly as she could 
speak. " Mr. Carlyle appears somewhat uneasy about his cough. He 
has a flushed, delicate look." 

" It is nothing," returned Wilson. " It's just the look that his mother 
had. The first time I saw her, nothing would convince me but what 
she had paint on." 

" Good night," was all the reply made by Lady Isabel, as she retreated 
to her own room. 

" Good night, madame," replied Wilson, returning towards the nursery. 
" I'll be blest if I know what to think of that French governess i " she 
mentally continued. " I hope it may turn out that she's not deranged, 
that's all." 



CHAPTER IV. 
"then you'll remember me." 



In a soft grey damask dress, not unlike the colour of the walls from 
which the room took its name, a cap of Honiton lace shading her 
delicate features, sat Mrs. Hare. The -justice was in London with 
Squire Pinner, and Barbara had gone to the Grove, and brought her 
mamma away in triumph. It was evening now, and kindly Mrs. Hare 
was paying a visit to the grey parlour, ^Iiss Carlyle had been dining 
there, and Lady Isabel, under plea of a i-iclciic headache, had begged 
to decline the invitation to take tea in the drawing-room, for she feared 
the sharp eyes of Miss Carlyle, Barbara, upon leaving the desffert- 
tablc, went to tht nursery as usual to her baby, and Mrs. FLire took 



THEN YOU'LL REMEMBER ME. ^21 

the opportunity to go and sit a few minutes with the governess. She 
feared that governess must be very lonely. Miss Carlyle, scorning 
usage and ceremony, had remained in the dining-room with Mr. 
Carlyle, a lecture for him, upon some defalcation or other, most 
probably in store. Lady Isabel was alone. Lucy had gone to keep 
a birthday in the neighbourhood, and William was in the nursery. 
Mrs. Hare found her in a sad attitude, her hands pressed upon her 
temples. She had not yet made acquaintance with her beyond a 
formal introduction. 

" I am sorry to hear you are not well this evening," she gently said. 

" Thank you. My head aches much," — which was no false plea. 

" I fear you must feel your solitude irksome. It is dull for you to be 
here alone." 

" I am so used to solitude." 

Mrs. Hare sat down, and gazed with sympathy at the y®ung, though 
somewhat strange-looking woman before her ; she detected the signs 
of mental suffering on her face. " You have seen sorrow," she uttered, 
bending forward and speaking with the utmost sweetness. 

"Oh, great sorrow," burst from Lady Isabel, for her wretched fate 
was very palpable to her mind that evening, and the tone of sympathy 
rendered it almost irrepressible. 

" My daughter tells me that you have lost your children ; that you 
have lost your fortune and position. Indeed, I feel for you. I wish I 
could comfort you ! " 

This did not decrease her anguish. She completely lost all self- 
control, and a gush of tears fell from her eyes. " Don't pity me ! don't 
pity me, dear Mrs. Hare : indeed, it only makes endurance harder. 
Some of us," she added, looking up with a sickly smile, "are born to 
sorrow." 

" We are all born to it," cried Mrs. Hare. " I, in truth, have cause 
to say so. Oh, you know not what my portion has been — the terrible 
weight of grief that I have to bear. For many years, I can truly say 
that I have not known one completely happy moment." 

"All have not to bear this killing sorrow," said Lady Isabel. 

" Rely upon it, sorrow of some nature comes sooner or later to all. 
In the brightest lot on earth dark days must be mixed. Not that there 
is a doubt but that it falls unequally. Some, as you observe, seem born 
to it, for it clings to them all their days ; others are more favoured. 
As we reckon favour ; perhaps this great amount of trouble is no more 
than is necessary to take us to heaven. You know the saying ; 
' Adversity hardens the heart, or opens it to Paradise.' It may be, 
that our hearts are so hard, that the long-continued life's trouble is 
necessary to soften them. My dear," Mrs. Hare added, in a lower 
tone, while the tears glistened on her pale cheeks, " there will be a 
blessed rest for the weary, when this toilsome life is ended ; let us find 
comfort in that thought." 

" Ay ! ay ! " murmured Lady Isabel. "It is nil that is left to 
me." 

" You are young to have acquired so much experience in sorrow." 

" We cannot estimate sorrow by years. We may live a whole life- 
time of it in a single hour. But we generally bring ill fate upon our- 

East LytuM. 21 



322 EAST LYNNE. 

selves," she continued, in the desperation of remorse. " As our conduct 
is, so will our happiness or misery be." 

" Not always," sighed Mrs. Hare. " ' Sorrow,' I grant you, comes all 
too frequently from ill-doing : but the worst is, that the consequences 
of this wrong doing fall upon the innocent as well as upon the guilty. 
A husband's errors will involve his innocent wife ; the sins of the 
parents will fall upon their children ; children will break the hearts of 
their parents. I can truly say — speaking in all humble submission — 
that I am unconscious of having deserved the great sorrow which came 
upon me ; that no act of mine invited it ; but, though it has nearly 
.killed me, I entertain no doubt, that it is lined with mercy, if I could 
only bring my weak, rebellious heart to search for it. You, I feel sure, 
have been equally undeserving." 

Mrs. Hare did not mark the flush of shame, the drooping of the eye- 
lids. 

" You have lost your little ones," Mrs. Hare resumed. " This is grief ; 
great grief; I would not underrate it ; but believe me it is as Jiolhijig 
compared with the awful fate of finding your children grow up and 
become that which makes you wish they had died in their infancy. 
There are times when I am tempted to regret that all my treasures are 
not in the next world : that they have not gone before me. Yes ; 
sorrow is the lot of all." 

" Surely not of all," dissented Lady Isabel. " There are some bright 
lots on earth." 

" There is not a lot, but must bear its appointed burden," returned 
Mrs. Hare. " Bright as it may appear, ay, and as it may continue to 
be for years, depend upon it some darkness must overshadow it earlier 
or later." 

" Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle — what sorrow can there be in store for 
them?" asked Lady Isabel, her voice ringing with a strange sound : 
which Mrs. Hare noted, though she understood it not. 

" Mrs. Carlyle's lot is bright," she said, a sweet smile illumining her 
features. " She loves her husband with an impassioned love; and he 
is worthy of it. A happy fate indeed is hers ; but she must not expect 
to be exempted from sorrow. Mr. Carlyle has had his share of it," 
concluded Mrs. Hare. 

" Ah ! " 

" You have doubtless been made acquainted with his history. His 
first wife left him ; left her home and her children. He bore it bravely 
before the world ; but I know that it wrung his very heart-strings. 
She was his heart's early idol." 

" She ! Not Barbara ? " 

The moment the word " Barbara " had escaped her lips. Lady Isabel 
recollected herself She was only Madame Vine, the governess : what 
would Mrs. Hare think of her familiarity 1 

Mrs. Hare did not appear to have noticed it : she was absorbed in 
the subject. " Barbara 't " she uttered : " certainly not. Had his first 
love been given to Barbara, he would have chosen her then. It was 
given to Lady Isabel." 

" It is given to his wife now." 

Mrs. Hare nearly laup;hed. " Of course it is ; would you wish it to 



THEN YOU'LL REMEMBER ME, 323 

be buried in the grave with the dead? — and with one who was false 
to him ? But, my dear, she was the sweetest woman, that unfortunate 
Lady Isabel. I loved her then, and I cannot help loving her still. 
Others blamed, but I pitied her. They were well matched : he, so 
good and noble ; she, so lovely and endearing." 

" And she left him ; threw him to the winds, with all his nobility 
and love ! " exclaimed that poor governess, with a gesture of the hands, 
that looked very like despair. 

'• Yes. It will not do to talk of it : it is a miserable subject. How 
she could abandon such a husband, such children, was a marvel to 
many ; but to none more than it was to me and my daughter. The 
false step — though I feel almost afraid to speak out the thought, lest it 
may appear to savour of triumph — while it must have secured her own 
wretchedness, led to the happiness of my child ; for it is pretty certain 
Barbara would never have loved another as she loves Mr. Carlyle." 

" You think it did secure wretchedness to her? " cried Lady Isabel, 
her tone one of bitter mockery, more than anythmg else. 

Mrs. Hare was surprised at the question. " No wonian ever took that 
step yet, without its entailing on her the direst wretchedness," she 
replied. "It cannot be otherwise. And Lady Isabel was of a nature 
to feel remorse, to meet it half way. Refined, modest, with every feeling 
of an English gentlewoman, she was the very last one would have 
expected to act so. It was as if she had gone away in a dream, not 
knowing what she was doing : I have thought so many a time. That 
terrible mental wretchedness and remorse did overtake her, I know." 

" How did you know it ? Did you hear it ? " exclaimed Lady Isabel, 
her tone all too eager, had Mrs. Hare been suspicious. "Did he pro- 
claim that — Francis Levison ? Did you hear it from him ? " 

Mrs. Hare, gentle Mrs. Hare, drew herself up, for the words grated 
on her feelings and on her pride. Another moment, and she was mild 
and kind again, for she reflected that that poor sorrowful governess 
must have spoken without thought. 

" I know not what Sir Francis Levison may have chosen to proclaim," 
she said, " but you may be sure he would not be allowed an opportunity 
to proclaim anything to me, or to any other friend of Mr. Carlyle's : nay, 
I should say, nor to any one good and honourable. I heard it from 
Lord Mount Severn." 

"From Lord Mount Severn!" repeated Lady Isabel. And she 
opened her lips to say something more, but closed them again. 

"He was here on a visit in the summer ; he stayed a fortnight. Lady 
Isabel was the daughter of the late earl — perhaps you may not have 
known that. He — Lord Mount Severn — told me, in confidence, that he 
had sought out Lady Isabel when the man, Levison, left her : he found 
her sick, poor, broken-hearted, in some remote French town, utterly 
borne down with remorse and repentance." 

" Could it be otherwise?" sharply asked Lady Isabel. 

" My dear, I have said it could not. The very thought of her deserted 
children would entail it, if nothing else did. There- was a baby born 
abroad," added Mrs. Hare, dropping her voice, "an infant in its cradle 
then. Lord Mount Severn said : but that child, we know, could only 
bring pain and shame." 



3^4 EAST LYNNE. 

" True," issued from her trembling lips. 

" Next, came her death : and I can only think it was sent to her in 
mercy. I trust she was prepared for it, and had made her peace with 
God. When all else is taken from us, we turn to Him : I hope she had 
learned to find the Refuge." 

" How did Mr. Carlyle receive the news of her death?" murmured 
Lady Isabel, a question which had been often in her thoughts. 

" I cannot tell : he made no outward sign, either of satisfaction or 
grief It was too delicate a subject for any one to enter upon with him, 
and most assuredly he did not enter upon it himself After he was 
engaged to my child, he told me that he should never have married 
during Lady Isabel's life." 

" From — from — the remains of affection ? " 

" I should think not. I inferred it to be from conscientious scruples. 
All his affection is given to his present wife. There is no doubt that he 
loves her with a true, a fervent, a lasting love : though there perhaps 
was more romantic sentiment in the early passion felt for Lady Isabel. 
Poor thing ! she gave up a sincere heart, a happy home." 

Ay, poor thing ! She had very nearly wailed forth her vain despair. 
" I wonder whether the drawing-room is tenanted yet," smiled Mrs. 
Hare, breaking a pause which had ensued. "If so, I suppose they will 
be expecting me there." 

" I will ascertain for you," said Lady Isabel, speaking in the impulse 
of the moment : for she was craving an instant to herself, even though 
it were but in the hall. 

She left the grey parlour and approached the drawing-room. Not 
a sound came from it ; and believing it to be empty, she opened the 
door and looked cautiously in. 

Quite empty. The fire blazed, the chandelier was lighted, but no one 
was enjoying the warmth or the light. From the inner room, however, 
came the sound of the piano, and the tones of Mr. Carlyle's voice. She 
recognized the chords of the music : they were those of the accompani- 
ment to the song he had so loved when she sang it to him. Who was 
about to sing it to him now ? 

Lady Isabel stole across the drawing-room to the other door, which 
was ajar. Barbara was seated at the piano, and Mr. Carlyle stood by 
her, his arm on her chair, and bending his face to a level with hers, 
possibly to look at the music. So, once had stolen, so, once had peeped 
the unhappy Barbara, to hear this self-same song. She had been his 
wife then; she had received his kisses when it was over. Their positions 
were reversed. 

Barbara began. Her voice had not the brilliant power of Lady 
Isabel's, but it was a sweet and pleasant voice to listen to. 

" When other lips and other hearts 

Their tales of love shall tell. 
In language whose excess imparts 

The power they feel so well. 
There may, perhaps, in such a scene 

Some recollection be, 
Of days that have as happy been— 

And you'll remember me." 



THEN YOU'LL REMEMBER ME. 325 

Days that had as happy been ! Ay. Did he remember her ? 
Did a thought of her, his first and best love, flit across him, as the 
words fell on his ear ? Did a past vision of the time when she sat 
there and sang it to him, arouse his heart to even a momentary 
recollection ? 

Terribly, indeed, were their positions reversed ; most terribly was 
she feeling it. And by whose act and will had the change been 
wrought ? Barbara was now the honoured and cherished wife, East 
Lynne's mistress. And what was she? Not even the welcomed 
guest of an hour, as Barbara had then been : but an interloper ; a 
criminal woman who had thrust herself into the house ; her act, in 
doing so, not to be justified, her position a most false one. Was it 
right, even if she should succeed in remaining undiscovered, that she 
and Barbara should dwell in the same habitation, Mr. Carlyle being 
in it ? Did she deem it to be right ? No, she did not : but one act of 
ill-doing entails more. These thoughts were passing through her 
mind as she stood there, listening to the song ; stood there as one 
turned to stone, her throbbing temples pressed against the pillar of the 
door. 

The song was over, and Barbara turned to her husband, a whole 
world of love in her bright blue eyes. He laid his hand upon her head ; 
Lady Isabel saw that, but she would not wait to see the caress that 
most probably followed it. She turned and crossed the room again, 
her hands clasped tightly on her bosom, her breath catching itself 
hysterically. Miss Carlyle was entering from the hall. They had 
not yet met, and Lady Isabel swept meekly past her with a hurried 
curtsey. Miss Carlyle spoke, but she dared not answer : to wait, 
would have been to betray herself. 

Sunday came, and that was the worst of all. In the old East Lynne 
pew at St. Jude's, so conspicuous to the congregation, sat she, as in 
former times : no excuse dared she, the governess, make, for remaining 
away. It was the first time she had entered an English Protestant 
church since she had last sat in it, there, with Mr. Carlyle. That 
fact alone, with all the terrible remembrances it brought in its train, 
was sufficient to overwhelm her with emotion. She sat at the upper 
end now, with Lucy ; Barbara occupied the place that had been hers, 
by the side of Mr. Carlyle. Barbara there, in her own right, his wife : 
she, severed from him for ever and for ever ! 

She scarcely raised her head : she tightened her thick veil over her 
face ; she kept her spectacles bent towards the ground. Lucy thought 
she must be crying : she had never seen any one so still at church 
before. Lucy was mistaken ; tears come not to solace the bitter 
anguish of hopeless, self-condemning remorse. How she sat out the 
service, she could not tell : she could not tell how she should sit out 
other services, as the Sundays came round. The congregation did not 
forget to stare at her : what an extraordinary-looking governess Mrs. 
Carlyle had picked up ! 

They went out when it was over. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle in advance ; 
she, humbly following them, with Lucy. She glanced aside at the 
tomb in the churchyard corner, where mouldered the remains of her 
father ; and a yearning cry went forth from the very depth of her 



326 EAST LYNNE. 

soul. " Oh, that I were laid there with him ! Why did I come back 
again to East Lynne ? " 

Why, truly? But she had never thought that her cross would be so 
sharp as this. 



CHAPTER V. 

AN M.P. FOR WEST LYNNE. 

As this is not a history of the British constitution, it is not necessary 
to relate how or why West Lynne fell into hot water with the House 
of Commons. The House threatened to disenfranchise it, and West 
Lynne, under the fear, went in mourning for its sins. The threat 
was not carried out ; but one of the members was unseated with 
ignominy, and sent to the right-about. Being considerably humiliated 
thereby, and in disgust with West Lynne, he retired accordingly, and 
a fresh writ was issued. West Lynne then returned the Honourable 
John Attley, a county nobleman's son, but he died in the very midst 
of his first session, and another writ had to be issued. 

Of course, the consideration now was, who should be the next can 
didate. All the notables within ten miles were discussed, not excepting 
the bench of justices. Mr. Justice Hare ? No ; he was too uncom- 
promising ; would study his own will, but not that of West Lynne. 
Squire Pinner ? He never made a speech in his life, and had not an 
idea beyond turnips and farming stock. Colonel Bethel? He had no 
money to spend upon an election. Sir John Dobede? He was too 
old. " By a good twenty years," laughed Sir John himself. " But here 
we stand, like a pack of noodles, conning over the incapables, and 
passing over the right one," continued Sir John. " There's only one 
man amongst us fit to be our member." 

" Who's that ? " cried the meeting. 

" Archibald Carlyle." 

A pause of consternation : consternation at their forgetfulness ; and 
then a murmur of approbation, approaching to a shout, tilled the room. 
Archibald Carlyle. It should be no other. 

" If we can get him," cried Sir John. " He may decline, you know." 

All agreed that the best thing was to act promptly. A deputation, 
half the length of the street— its whole length, if you include the tagrag 
and bobtail that attended — set off, on the spur of the moment, to the 
office of Mr. Carlyle. They found that gentleman about to leave it for 
the evening, to return home to dinner. For, in the discussion of the 
all-important topic, the meeting had suffered time to run on to a late 
hour. Those gentlemen who dined at a somewhat earlier one, had for 
once in their lives patiently allowed their dinners to wait — which is 
saying a great deal for the patience of a justice. 

Mr. Carlyle was taken by surprise. "Make me your member? " cried 
he merrily. " How do you know I should not sell you all ? " 

" We'll trust you, Carlyle. Too happy to do it" 

" I am not sure that I could spare the tmie," deliberated Mr. Carlyle. 

" Nov/, Carlyle, you must remember that you avowed to me, no longer 



AN M.P. FOR WEST LYNNE. 327 

ago than last Christmas, your intention of going into parhamcnt some 
time," struck in Mr. Justice Herbert. " You can't deny it." 

" Some time I — yes," replied Mr. Carlyle. " But I did not say when, 
I have no thought of doing so at present." 

" You must allow us to put you in nomination ; you must indeed, 
Mr. Carlyle. There's no one else fit for it. As good send a pig to the 
House, as some of us." 

" An extremely flattering reason for proposing to shift the honour 
upon me," laughed Mr. Carlyle. 

" Well, you know what we mean, Carlyle. There's not a man in 
the whole county so suitable as you, search it through as we might : 
you must know there is not." 

" I don't know anything of the sort," returned Mr, Carlyle. 

"At any rate, we are determined to have you. When you walk 
into West Lynnc to-morrow, you'll see the walls alive with placards : 
' Carlyle for ever ! ' " 

" Suppose you allow me until to-morrow to consider it, and defer 
garnishing the walls until a day later," said Mr. Carlyle, a serious 
tone peeping out in the midst of his jocularity. 

" You do not fear the expense ? " 

It was only a glance he returned in answer. As soon as the question 
had been put — it was stupid old Pinner who propounded it— they 
had felt how foolish it was. And indeed the cost would be a mere 
bagatelle, were there no opposition. 

" Come, decide now, Carlyle. Give us your promise." 

" If I decide now, it will be in the negative," replied Mr. Carlyle. 
" It is a question that demands consideration. Give me until to-morrow, 
and it is possible that I may accede to your request." 

This was the best that could be made of him : the deputation 
backed out, and, as nothing more could be done, departed to their 
several dinner-tables. Mr. Dill, who had been present, remained 
rubbing his hands with satisfaction, and casting admiring glances at 
Mr. Carlyle. 

" What's the matter. Dill ? " asked the latter. " You look as though 
you were pleased at this movement, and assumed that I should 
accept it." 

" And so you will, Mr. Archibald. And as to looking pleased, there's 
not a man, woman, or child in West Lynne who won't be glad." 

" Don't make too sure of it. Dill." 

"Of what, sir? — Of your becoming our member, or of the people 
looking pleased .'' " 

" Of either," laughed Mr. Carlyle. 

He left the office to walk home, revolving the proposition as he 
did so. That he had long thought of some time entermg parliament 
was certain ; though no definite period of the " when " had fixed itself 
in his mind. He did not see why he should confine his days entirely 
to toil, to the work of his calling. Pecuniary considerations did not 
require it, for his realized property, combined with the fortune brought 
by Barbara, was more than sufficient to meet the expenses of their 
present style of living. Not that he had the least intention of giving 
up his business ; it was honourable (as he conducted it) and lucrative ; 



328 EAST LYNNE. 

and he really liked it : he would not have been condemned to lead an 
idle life for the world. But there was no necessity for his being always 
at it. Mr. Dill made as good a principal as he did, and — if length 
of service and experience might be counted as anything — a better. 
He could safely be left to manage, during the time it would be 
iiecessary for Mr. Carlyle to be in London. He would rather repre- 
sent West Lynne than any other spot on the face of the earth, no 
matter what might be that other's importance ; and as West Lynne 
was now in want of a member, perhaps his opportunity had come. 
That he would make a good and efficient pubhc servant, he believed ; 
his talents were great, his oratory was persuasive, and he had the 
gift of a true and honest spirit. That he would have the interest of 
West Lynne at heart, was certain, and he knew that he should serve 
his constituents to the best of his power and ability. They knew it 
also. 

Before Mr. Carlyle had reached East Lynne, he had decided that it 
should be. 

It was a fine spring evening, for the months had gone on. The 
lilac was in bloom, the hedges and trees were clothed in their early 
green, all things seemed full of promise. Even Mr. Carlyle's heart was 
rejoicing in the prospect opened to it : he was sure he should like a 
pubhc life. But, in the sanguine moments of realization or of hope, 
some dark shadow will step in to mar the brightness. 

Barbara stood at the drawing-room window watching for him. Not 
in her was the dark shadow. Her dress was a marvel of vanity and 
prettiness, and she had chosen to place on her fair hair a head-dress 
of dainty lace. As if her hair required such adornment ! She waltzed 
up to Mr. Carlyle when he entered, and saucily held up her face, the 
light of love dancing in her bright blue eyes. 

" What do you want ? " he provokingly asked, putting his hands 
behind him, and letting her stand there. 

" Oh, well — if you won't say good evening to me ! I have a great 
mind to say you should not kiss me for a week, Archibald." 

He laughed. " Who would be most punished by that ? " whispered 
he. 

Barbara pouted her pretty lips, and tears positively came to her 
eyes. " Which is as much as to say it would be no punishment to you. 
Archibald ! doti^t you care for me ? " 

He threw his arms round her and clasped her to his heart, taking 
plenty of kisses then. " You know whether I care or not," he fondly 
whispered. 

But now, will you beheve that that unfortunate Lady Isabel had 
been a witness to this .'' Well ? it was only what his greeting to her 
had once been. Her pale face flushed scarlet, and she glided out of 
the room again as softly as she had entered it. They had not seen 
her. Mr. Carlyle drew his wife to the window, and stood there, his 
arm round her waist. 

" Barbara, what should you say to living in London for a few months 
out of the twelve?" 

" London ? I am very happy where I am. Why should you ask 
me that ? You arc not going to live in London ? " 



AN M.P, FOR WEST LYNNE. 329 

" I am not sure of that. I think I am, for a portion of the year. I 
have had an offer made me this afternoon, Barbara." 

She looked at him, wondering what he meant ; wondering whether 
he was in earnest. An offer to him ? What sort of an offer ? Of what 
nature could it be ? 

He smiled at her perplexity. " Should you like to see M.P, attached 
to my name ? West Lynne wants me to become its member." 

A pause to take in the news ; a sudden rush of colour ; and then 
she clasped her hands round his arm, her eyes sparkling with pleasure, 

" Oh, Archibald, how glad I am ! I knew you were appreciated ; 
and you will be appreciated more and more. This is right : it was not 
well (or you to remain for life .a private individual, a country lawyer." 

" I am perfectly contented with my lot, Barbara," he said seriously. 
" I am too busy to be otherwise." 

" I know that were you toiling daily for the bread you eat, you would 
be contented, feeling that you were fulfilling your appointed duty ; but, 
Archibald, could you not still be a busy man at West Lynne, although 
you should become its representative ? " 

"If I could not, I would not accept the honour, Barbara. For 
some few months of the year, I must of necessity be in town, but Dill 
is an efficient substitute ; and I can run down for a week or so, be- 
tween times. Part of Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday I can 
always pass here, if I please. Of course, these changes have their 
drawbacks, as well as their advantages." 

" Where would be the drawbacks in this instance ? " she interrupted, 

" Well," smiled Mr. Carlyle, " in the first place, I suppose you could 
not always be with me." 

Her hands fell ; her colour faded. " Oh, Archibald ! " 

"If I do become their member, I must go up to town as soon as 
elected : and I don't think it will do for my little wife to be quitting 
her home to travel about just now." 

Barbara's face wore a very blank look. She could not dissent from 
Mr. Carlyle's reasoning. 

" And you must remain in London to the end of the session, while I 
am here ! Separated ! Archibald," she passionately added, while the 
tears gushed into her eyes, " I could not /h'e wifhout you." 

" Then what is to be done ? Must I decline it ? " 

" Decline it ! Oh, of course not. I know ; we are looking on the 
dark side of things. I can accompany you very well for a month, 
perhaps two." 

" You think so ? " 

" I am sure so. And, mind ! you must not encourage mamma to 
talk me out of it. Archibald," she continued, resting her head upon 
his breast, her sweet face turned up beseechingly to his, " you would 
rather have me with you, would you not ? " 

He bent his own down upon it. "What do you think about it, my 
darling ? " 

Once more, an inopportune moment for her to enter— Lady Isabel, 
Barbara heard her this time, and sprang away from her husband. Mr. 
Carlyle turned round at the movement, and saw Madame Vine. She 
came forward ; her lips ashy, her voice subdued. 



330 EAST LYNNE, 

She had now been six months at East Lynne, and had hitherto 
escaped detection. Time and familiarity render us accustomed to 
most things ; to danger amongst the rest ; and she had almost ceased 
to fear recognition. She and the children were upon the best terms : 
she had greatly endeared herself to them, and they loved her : perhaps 
nature was asserting her own hidden claims. 

What of William ? William had been better through the winter, 
but with the first blush of spring he had begun to fade again. He was 
constantly weary, had frequent pain in his side, and his appetite failed. 
Mr. Wainright attended him daily now. In the day he looked tolerably 
well, for the exceeding beauty and brightness of his complexion dis- 
armed suspicion ; but towards evening, so soon as twilight came on, 
his illness showed itself outwardly. His face would become palHd, 
he could scarcely speak from weakness, and his favourite resting-place 
was the hearth-rug in the grey parlour. There he would lie down at 
full length, a cushion under his head, and his eyes closed. 

" My child," Madame Vine would say to him, " you would be better 
on the sofa." 

" No. I like this." 

" But, if I draw it quite close to the fire for you ? Try it, William." 

He did so for one or two evenings : and then the old place was 
resumed, and he would not leave it again. He was lying there as usual 
this evening when Hannah came in with the tea-things. She gazed 
down for a minute or two at the boy, whom she supposed to be sleeping, 
so still and full of repose did he look, and then turned to Madame Vine. 

" Poor child ! he's one that's going fast on to his grave." 

The words utterly startled her. Daily familiarity with illness some- 
times renders us partially blind to its worst features, and thus it had 
been with Lady Isabel. Upon her arrival at East Lynne, she had 
been, if not alarmed, much concerned at the appearance of William : 
the winter improvement had dispelled that concern ; while the spring 
change had come on so gradually that her fears had not taken alarm. 
She judged him to be a delicate boy, who required care. 

" Hannah ! " she uttered, in a tone of reproof, to the servant. 

" Why, ma'am, I wonder that you can't see it yourself ! " returned 
Hannah. " It's plain, poor lad, that he has no mother, or there would 
have been an outcry over him long ago. Of course, Mrs. Carlyle 
can't be expected to have the same feelings for him : and as to old 
Wainwright, he's as blind as any bat." 

She took the reproach to herself, and it smote upon her heart : had 
she been blind - she, his mother ? 

"There is nothing particularly the matter with him, Hannah. He is 
only weakly." But she spoke these words in defiance of her thoughts ; 
anxious, if we may so say it, to deceive herself : even as she gave 
expression to them, her pulses were beating with fear, the next moment 
to certainty, that there was worse the matter with him. 

" Are you asleep, William ? " she softly said, bending down towards 
him. 

No reply. No movement in answer. 

" He might not have been asleep, Hannah. You should be more 
cautious in your remarks." 



AN M.P. FOR WEST LYNNE. 331 

" Anybody may see that he's asleep, ma'am, lying so still as that. 
Of course I wouldn't say anything in his hearing." 

" Why do you fancy him to be in a critical state ? " 

" It is not fancy," returned Hannah. " I have had experience in 
fading children." 

Lucy entered at this juncture, and nothing more was said. When 
Hannah left the room. Lady Isabel g?Ted dov/n at William, as if she 
would have devoured him, a yearning, famished sort of expression 
upon her features. He was white as death. The blue veins were con- 
spicuous in his face, and his nostrils were slightly working with every 
breath he drew, as will be the case with the sickly. From passive 
security she had jumped to the other extreme, for Hannah's words had 
roused every fear within her. 

" Madame Vine, why are you looking like that at William ? " asked 
Lucy, who was watching. 

" Hannah thinks he is ill," she mechanically answered. Her reflec- 
tions were buried five fathoms deep, and she was debating whether she 
ought not on that very instant to make known these new fears to Mr. 
Carlyle. To Mr. Carlyle, you observe : her jealous heart would not 
recognize the right of Mrs. Carlyle over her children — although she 
had to submit to its exercise. 

She quitted the parlour. She had heard Mr. Carlyle come in. 
Crossing the hall, she tapped softly at the drawing-room door, and 
then as softly entered. It was the moment of Mr. Carlyle's fond 
greeting to his wife. They stood together, heedless of her. 

Gliding out again, she paced the hall, her hands pressed upon her 
beating heart. How dared that heart rise up in sharp rebellion at 
these witnessed tokens of love ? Was Barbara not his wife ? Had she 
not a legal claim to all his tenderness ? Who was she, that she should 
resent them in her sick jealousy ? What, though they had once been 
hers, hers only ; had she not signed and sealed her own forfeit to them, 
and so made room for Barbara .'' 

Back to the grey parlour, there she stood, her elbow on the mantel- 
piece, her eyes hidden by her hand. Thus she remained for some 
minutes, and Lucy thought how sad she looked. 

But Lucy felt hungry, and was casting longing glances towards the 
tea-table. She wondered how long her governess meant to keep it 
waiting. " Madame Vine," cried she, presently, "don't you know that 
tea is ready ?" 

This caused Madame Vine to raise her eyes. They fell upon the 
pale boy at her feet. She made no immediate answei", only placed her 
hand on Lucy's shoulder. 

" Oh, Lucy dear, I — I have many sorrows to bear." 

" The tea will refresh you, and there's some nice jam," was Miss 
Lucy's offered consolation. 

"Their greeting, tender as it may be, is surely over by this time," 
thought Lady Isabel, an expression something hke mockery curving 
her lips. " I will venture again." 

Only to see him with his wife's face on his breast, and his own lips 
bent upon it. But they had heard her this time, and she had to 
advance, in spite of her spirit of misery and her whitened features. 



332 EAST LYNNE, 

" Would you be so good, sir, as to come and look at William ? " she 
asked, in a lov/ tone, of Mr. Carlyle. 

" Certainly." 

" What for ? " interjected Barbara. 

"He looks so very ill. I do not like his looks. I fear he is worse 
than we have imagmed." 

They went to the grey parlour, all three of them. Mr. Carlyle was 
there first, and had taken a long, silent look at William before the 
others entered. 

" What is he doing on the floor ? " exclaimed Barbara, in her astonish- 
ment. "He should not lie on the floor, Madame Vine." 

" He lies down there at twilight, and I cannot get him up again. 
I try to persuade him to the sofa, but it is of no use." 

" The floor will not hurt him," said Mr. Carlyle. This was the dark 
shadow : his boy's failing health. 

WiUiam opened his eyes. "Who's that? Papa?" 

" Don't you feel well, William ? " 

" Oh yes, I'm very well, but I am tired." 

" Why do you lie down here ? " 

" I like lying here. Papa, that pretty white rabbit of mine is dead." 

" Indeed. Suppose you get up and tell me all about it." 

" I don't know about it myself yet," said William, slowly rising. 
" Blair told Lucy when she was out just now ; I did not go : I was tired. 
He said—" 

" What has tired you ? " interrupted Mr. Carlyle, taking the boy's 
hand. 

" Oh, nothing. I am always tired ! " 

" Do you tell Mr. Wainwright that you are tired?" 

" No. Why should I tell him ? I wish he would not order me to 
take that nasty cod-liver oil." 

" But it is to make you strong, my boy." 

" It makes me sick. I always feel sick after it, papa. Madame 
Vine says I ought to have cream. That would be nicer." 

" Cream?" repeated Mr. Carlyle, turning his eyes on Madame Vine. 

" I have known cream to do a great deal of good in a case such as 
William's," she observed. " I believe that no better medicine can be 
given ; that it has, in fact, no substitute." 

" It can be tried," said Mr. Carlyle. 

" Pray give your orders, Madame Vine, for anything you think may 
be beneficial to him," added Mrs. Carlyle. " You have had more 
experience with children than I. Joyce " 

" What does Wainwright say ? " interrupted Mr. Carlyle, speaking to 
his wife in a low tone. 

" I do not always see him when he comes, Archibald. Madame 
Vine does, I believe." 

" Oh dear ! " cried Lucy, " can't we have tea ? I want some bread 
and jam." 

Mr. Carlyle turned round, smiled, and nodded to her. " Patience is 
good for little girls, Miss Lucy. Would you like some bread and jam, 
my boy ? " 

William shook his head. " I can't eat jam. I am only thirsty." 



AN M.P. FOR WEST LYNNE. 333 

Mr. Carlyle cast a long and intent look at him, and then left the 
room. Lady Isabel followed him, her thoughts full of her ailing child. 

" Do you think him very ill, sir ? " she whispered. 

" I think he looks so. What does Mr, Wainwright say ? " 

" He says nothing to me. I have not inquired his true opinion. 
Until to-night it did not occur to me that there was danger." 

" Does he look so much worse to-night ?" 

" Not any worse than usual. Latterly he has looked just like this 
of an evening. It was a remark of Hannah's that aroused my alarm : 
she thinks he is on the road to death. What can we do to save him ? " 

She clasped her hands as she spoke, in the intensity of her emotion : 
she almost forgot, as they stood there together, talking of the welfare 
of the child, their child, that he was no longer her husband. Almost ; 
not quite ; utterly impossible would it be for her wholly to forget the 
dreadful present. Neither he nor the child could belong to her again 
in this world. 

A strange rising of the throat in her wild despair, a meek curtsey 
as she turned from him, his last words ringing in her ears. " I shall 
call in further advice for him, Madame Vine." 

William was clinging round Mrs. Carlyle in a coaxing attitude, 
when she re-entered the grey parlour. " I know what I could eat, 
mamma, if you would let me have it," cried he, in answer to her 
remonstrance that he must eat something. 

" What could you eat ? " 

" Some cheese." 

" Cheese ! Cheese with tea ! " laughed Mrs. Carlyle. 

" For the last week or two he has fancied strange things — the effect 
of a diseased appetite," exclaimed Madame Vine. " But if I allow them 
to be brought in, he barely tastes them." 

" I am sure, mamma, I could eat some cheese now," said William. 

" You may have it," answered Mrs. Carlyle. 

As she turned to leave the room the impatient knock and ring of a 
visitor was heard. Barbara wondered who could be arriving at that, 
their dinner hour. Sailing majestically into the hall, her lips com- 
pressed, her aspect threatening, came Miss Carlyle. 

Now it turned out that Miss Corny had been standing at her own 
window, grimly eyeing the ill-doings of the street, from the fine 
housemaid opposite, who was enjoying a flirtation with the baker, to 
the ragged urchins pitchpoling in the gutter and the dust : and there 
she caught sight of the string — justices and others, who came out of 
the office of Mr. Carlyle. So many of them were they, that Miss 
Corny involuntarily thought of a conjuror flinging flowers out of a 
hat : the faster they come, the more it seems there are to come. 
"What on earth's up?" cried Miss Corny, pressing her nose flat 
against the pane, that she might see the betten 

They filed off, some one way, some another. Miss Carlyle's 
curiosity was keener than her appetite, for she remained at the window, 
although just informed that her dinner was served. Presently Mr. 
Carlyle appeared, and she knocked at the window with her knuckles. 
He did not hear it, but had turned off at a quick pace towards his 
home. Miss Corny 's temper rose. 



334 EAST LYNNE. 

The clerks came out next, one after another ; and last of all came 
Mr. Dill. He was less hurried than Mr. Carlyle had been, and heard 
Miss Corny's signal. 

" What, in the name of wonder, did all those people want at the 
office?" began she, when Mr. Dill had entered in obedience to it. 

" That was the deputation, Miss Cornelia. 

" What deputation ? " 

" The deputation to "Mr. Archibald. They want him to become 
their new member." 

" Member of what ? " cried she, not guessing the actual meaning. 

" Of parliament, Miss Corny; to replace Mr. Attley. The gentlemen 
came to solicit him to be put in nomination." 

" Solicit a donkey ! " irascibly uttered Miss Corny, for the tidings did 
not meet with her approbation. " Did Archibald turn them out 
again ? " 

" He gave them no direct answer, ma'am. He will consider of it 
between now and to-morrow morning." 

" Consider of it ? " shrieked she. " Why, he'd never, never be such 
a flat as to comply with it ! He go into Parliament ! What next ? " 

" Why should he not, Miss Corny ? I'm sure I should be proud to 
see him there." 

Miss Corny sniffed. " You are proud of things more odd than 
even, John Dill. Remember that fine shirt-front ! What has become 
of it ? Is it laid up in lavender ? " 

"Not exactly in lavender, Miss Corny. It lies in the drawer; for I 
have never liked to put it on since, after what you said." 

" W^hy don't you sell it at half price, and buy a couple of good use- 
ful shirts with the money ? " returned she, tartly. " Better that, than 
keep the foppish thing as a witness of your folly. Perhaps hcUl be 
buying embroidered fronts next, if he goes into that idle, do-nothing 
House of Commons. I'd rather enter myself for six months at the 
treadmill." 

" Oh, Miss Corny ! I don't think you have well considered it. It's 
a great honour, and worthy of him : he will be raised above us all : 
and he deserves to be so." 

" Raise him on to a weathercock," raged Miss Corny. " There ! 
you may go. I have heard quite enough." 

Brushing past the old gentleman, leaving him to depart, or not, as 
he might please, Miss Carlyle strode upstairs, flung on her shawl and 
bonnet, and strode down again. Her servant looked considerably 
surprised, and addressed her as she crossed the hall. 

" Your dinner, ma'am ? " he ventured to say. 

" What's my dinner to you ? " returned Miss Corny, in her wrath. 
" You have had yours." 

Away she strode. And thus it happened that she was at East Lynne 
almost as soon as Mr. Carlyle. 

" Where's Archibald! " began she, without ceremony, the moment 
she saw Barbara. 

" He is here. Is anything the matter ? " 

Mr. Carlyle, hearing the voice, came out, and she pounced upon 
him. 



AN M.P. FOR WEST LYNNE. 335 

" What's this about your becoming the new member for West 
Lynne ? " 
" West Lynne wishes it," said Mr. Carlyle. " Sit down, Corneha." 
" Sit down yourself," retorted she, keeping on her feet. " I want my 
questions answered. Of course you will decline." 

" On the contrary, I have made up my mind to accept." 
Miss Corny untied the strings of her bonnet and flung them behind 
her. " Have you counted the cost ? " was asked, and there was some- 
thing quite sepulchral in her solemn tone. 

" I have given it consideration, Cornelia : both as regards money 
and time. The expense will not be worth consideration, should there 

be no opposition. And if there is " 

" Ay ! " groaned Miss Corny. If there is ? " 

" Well ? I am not without some few hundreds to spare for the play- 
thing," he said, turning upon her the good-humoured light of his fine 
countenance. 

Miss Carlyle emitted some dismal moans. " That ever I should have 
lived to see this day ! To hear money talked of as though it were 
dirt. And what's to become of your business ? " she sharply added. 
" Is that to run to rack and ruin, while you are kicking your heels in 
that wicked London, under plea of being at the House, night after 
night .? " 

" Cornelia," he gravely said, " were I dead, Dill could carry on the 
business just as well as it is being carried on now. I might go into a 
foreign country for seven years, and come back to find the business as 
flourishing as ever, for Dill could keep it together. And even were 
the business to drop off— though I tell you it will not do so — I am 
independent of it." 

Miss Carlyle faced tartly round upon Barbara. " Have you been 
setting him on to this ? " 

" I think he had made up his mind before he spoke to me. But," 
added Barbara, in her truth, " I urged him to accept it." 

" Oh ! you did ! Nicely moped and miserable you'll be here, if he 
goes to London for months at a